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Obama to begin new immigration plan rollout Feb. 18

LA TIMES – JANUARY 31, 2015

Applications will start being accepted Feb. 18 for temporary deportation relief for immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children as part of protections under President Obama’s new immigration plan.

Expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is the first part of Obama’s plan — and exactly what the new Republican Congress has tried to prevent by withholding full funding this year for the Homeland Security Department.

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Obama Administration To Start Taking DACA Requests Feb. 18

NBC NEWS – JANUARY 31, 2015

The administration has announced it will begin taking applications for an expansion of deportation relief for young immigrants in the country illegally.

Applications for expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, are being accepted beginning Feb. 18, Citizenship and Immigration Services stated in a Thursday evening update to its website.

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La declaración de impuestos no será un requisito para acogerse a DAPA

SEMANA NEWS – JANUARY 22, 2015

HOUSTON – Luego de celebrar el año nuevo, muchos están pensando en los impuestos y tal vez en la manera más rápida de obtener un reembolso que les pueda servir para comprar la casa de sus sueños. Pero es necesario reflexionar y tomar este tema muy en serio.

Si usted ya es residente permanente, la evidencia de que ha declarado impuestos y de que no le debe nada al Gobierno de Estados Unidos es un requisito indispensable para poder hacerse ciudadano de este país. Por otro lado, si está en un proceso de residencia, usted va a tener que demostrarle al Gobierno que no se va a convertir en una carga para este país y su patrocinador deberá presentar su declaración de impuestos como evidencia de que gana lo suficiente para apoyarlo económicamente.

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The President Proposes to Make Community College Free for Responsible Students for 2 Years

SECRETARY ARNE DUNCAN, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION – JANUARY 9, 2015

Yesterday, the President announced his “America’s College Promise” proposal. It makes two years of community college free for responsible students.

Yes, you read that right. Under his plan, any student who earns good grades would get two years of community college education at no cost.

Get the facts on yesterday’s announcement, and pass it on to someone who stands to benefit from the President’s proposal.

Think about this: The President’s new proposal would let students earn the first half of a bachelor’s degree, or get the skills they’ll need when they enter the workforce after school.

When it’s fully implemented, the move could benefit about 9 million students per year. And a full-time community college student could save, on average, $3,800 in tuition each year.

In fact, Tennessee and Chicago have already started similar tuition-free community college programs, and the demand has been amazing: 57,000 students, representing almost 90 percent of Tennessee’s high school graduating class, applied to Tennessee’s program in just its first year.

In order to succeed in the 21st century economy, access to some form of higher education is a must — so it only stands to reason that we should make it more accessible and affordable to more of America’s students.

Let’s help out our next generation of students, and put them on the road to success.

Find out more about the President’s announcement, and make sure to share the news.

Thanks,

Arne

Secretary Arne Duncan
Department of Education
@ArneDuncan


Head Start & Migrant Education Internships in Washington, DC, Available, Summer 2015; Rep. Alonzo Urges Applicants; Deadline to Apply is Friday, Jan 16, 2015.

TX REP ROBERTO R. ALONZO – JANUARY 5, 2015

Are you are product of a Head Start or Migrant Education program? If so, there’s a fabulous internship opportunity for you in DC, and Rep. Alonzo urges you to apply today. The deadline to apply is Friday, January 15, 2015. The unique internship program in Washington, D.C. is for former Migrant & Seasonal Head Start students who are currently enrolled in college.

Sponsored by the National Migrant & Seasonal Head Start Association (NMSHSA) it offers a unique internship program to current college students who participated in a Migrant & Seasonal Head Start Program. The NMSHSA Internship Program brings together the next generation of community leaders from across the country to work in Washington, D.C. The NMSHSA interns come from migrant and seasonal farmworker families; have participated in one of their member Migrant or Seasonal Head Start programs between the ages of 0 to 5; are currently enrolled as juniors or seniors in a college undergraduate program; and are active students in their community with proven potential. The all-expense paid, seven-week internship program includes a stipend, housing, and work placement in the Washington, D.C. area.

“The NMSHSA internship offers candidates an excellent opportunity to work in public service, while at the same time, offering them days filled with unique learning experiences, thought-provoking conversation, and unforgettable events that would last a lifetime. I urge anyone interested and qualified to apply,” said Rep. Alonzo.

“As a successful attorney, lawmaker and public servant for years, I personally took advantage of similar internships while I was in college, including a valuable one that guided me prior to law school. Internships like this offer candidates to not only gain on-the-job experience, but they also open many doors and opportunities for the future, ” continued Rep. Alonzo.

The Migrant & Seasonal Head Start programs provided the initial building blocks for success when many young students were ages 0 to 5, and it is the goal of this summer internship program to provide the last push toward the finish line. The purpose of the NMSHSA Internship Program is to expose migrant students who are currently in college to various career opportunities within Washington, D.C., such as non-profit organizations, federal agencies, and Capitol Hill. During the 8-week program, NMSHSA interns will refine their professionalism, develop peer relationships, strengthen their leadership skills, make professional contacts, and connect with professional mentors.

For more information about NMSHSA, contact nternship@nmshsaonline.org. The application and all required forms can be found on the NMSHSA website at : www.nmshsaonline.org . Deadline to apply is Friday, January 15, 2015. Selected interns will arrive at Washington, DC on June 15, 2015, work from June 9- July 15 and depart Washington, DC on August 1, 2015.



The American Immigration Council Launches Its Annual Multimedia Contest for 14-25 Year Olds, With $1,000 First Prize.

COMMUNITY EDUCATION CENTER – SEPTEMBER 9, 2014

The American Immigration Council is seeking submission for its national multimedia competition. The contest, “Change in Motion,” challenges young adults to explore the role immigration plays in their everyday lives and communities through creative multimedia projects. Projects should focus on celebrating the diversity of the United States and explore the commonalities that bind our “nation of immigrants” together. Please share these guidelines with those who are interested.

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Mark Zuckerberg, undocumented immigrants ‘hack’ immigration reform

LA TIMES – NOVEMBER 20, 2013

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is bringing young undocumented immigrants with engineering chops to Silicon Valley to “hack” immigration reform.

Twenty young immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children are taking part in a “DREAMer Hackathon” on Wednesday at LinkedIn’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters.

The young coders will break into small groups to build technology during the marathon programming session to push Congress to pass immigration reform. Technology veterans including Zuckerberg, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Dropbox co-founder Drew Houston will be on hand to advise them, and Fwd.us, Zuckerberg’s lobbying group, has pledged to get the projects up and running.

Zuckerberg organized his first hackathon in his Harvard dorm room, and Facebook employees routinely pull all-nighters to build new products and features. Now Fwd.us is borrowing the concept to press for a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s immigration policies.

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Monty: If immigrants are ‘illegal,’ then so is Johnny Football

It’s time for Congress to consider changing our unfair standards

HOUSTON CHRONICLE – SEPTEMBER 4, 2013

Texas A&M University’s star quarterback Johnny Manziel cost the Aggies a 15-yard penalty for taunting Rice University’s team after starting his season with a third scoring pass.

This, in turn, all happened after A&M’s biggest asset, the Heisman Trophy-winning “Johnny Football,” spent the entire first half on the bench as a penalty for his “inadvertent violation” of the NCAA rules, which happened when “Johnny Autopen” “inadvertently” charged people for his autographs.

All of this came on the heels of an off-season arrest, in which “Johnny Barfight” got picked up in a brawl outside a College Station tavern and handed police a phony identification card.

If Manziel had been one of the 11 million undocumented immigrants – call him, “Johnny Illegal” – the arrests alone would have landed him in a detention center, at least until U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement could send him to play football in Mexico.

Johnny’s fake ID card was no different than the ones the so-called “illegals” carry with them every day, and it was probably bought from similar people.

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How DACA is Impacting the Lives of Those Who Are Now DACAmented
Preliminary Findings from the National UnDACAmented Research Project

WASHINGTON, D.C. – AUGUST 15, 2013

Today, on the one-year anniversary of USCIS’ implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Immigration Policy Center, in partnership with the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at the University of Southern California, releases early findings from the National UnDACAmented Research Project (NURP)—a longitudinal mixed-methods study of the impact of DACA on the educational, labor market, health, and civic engagement outcomes of young adult immigrants.

While the DACA program does not provide permanent legal status or a path to citizenship, it does provide a two-year renewable grant of deferral from deportation for certain young immigrants and allows them to apply for work permits and social security cards. The research finds that DACA is increasing their opportunities for economic and social incorporation. According to the survey, many recipients also seek further social integration beyond DACA. In fact, almost all DACA recipients indicate that they would apply for U.S. citizenship if given the opportunity. The study also shows that DACA recipients are often fearful that family members and friends could be deported at any time.

Overall, the research indicates that although DACA opens up some economic opportunities for young aspiring Americans, it does not address the constant threat of deportation still facing those closest to them, including mothers, fathers, and siblings.

To view the research summary see:



Readout of the President and Vice President’s meeting with Dreamers and Family Members of Undocumented Immigrants

THE WHITE HOUSE – MAY 21, 2013

This morning, the President and the Vice President met in the Oval Office with young immigrants who received deferred action and with the siblings and spouses of undocumented immigrants. This meeting was an important opportunity for the President and the Vice President to meet with families who are directly affected by our nation’s broken immigration system.

The President and the Vice President were moved by the stories of courage and determination of these young immigrants and their families. The Dreamers shared how their lives have been positively affected by the deferred action process and emphasized that they and their families need a permanent solution that will allow them to fully contribute to the country they call home.

At the meeting, the President reiterated his commitment to passing a bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform bill this year. He made clear that while the current bill is not perfect, it does represent an important step towards the broad principles that need to be part of any immigration reform package.

The President underscored that their stories are a good reminder that immigration isn’t just a policy issue, but it’s about our families, our communities and it’s about our common future. The President and the Vice President thanked participants for their leadership, courage and on-going efforts to move immigration reform legislation forward. The President also encouraged them to continue to share their stories with the American public to move the hearts and minds of individual leaders and to propel the immigration debate forward.

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Deferred action program opens doors for young adults

HOUSTON CHRONICLE – MAY 6, 2013

For Cynthia Huerta, the low point came in the summer of 2011, during a long drive home to Houston from College Station.

For as long as she could remember, the bubbly brunette had dreamed of going to Texas A&M University, of being an Aggie. But her trip to A&M and a visit with a loan officer had confirmed her fears. Her academic scholarships would only stretch so far. And because her parents brought her to the U.S. illegally when she was 7 years old, and she had no Social Security number, Huerta was ineligible for federal assistance.

Her parents tried to cheer her up from the front seat, saying how quickly two years in community college would pass by. Huerta, one day shy of her 18th birthday, stared quietly out the window, contemplating her future. She saw it clearly now – she wouldn’t be an Aggie. She couldn’t work, couldn’t drive. She blinked back tears.

But everything changed for Huerta in December, when she was approved for the federal government’s new deferred action program, which offers young illegal immigrants temporary protection from deportation and a chance at a work permit. Huerta, now 19, became one of more than 488,000 teens and young adults to apply for the program through the end of March, the most recent data available.

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Deferred Action: A Bird In Hand For Young Immigrants

NPR – APRIL 23, 2013

As Congress continues its debate over immigration reform, nearly a half-million young people who are in the U.S. illegally have already applied for deferred action.

The Obama administration started the policy, formally known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, last year for people who were brought into the U.S. illegally as children. Those who are approved gain the right to work or study and avoid deportation for two years.

Still, of the estimated 1.7 million undocumented youths who are believed to be eligible, more than a million have yet to apply for deferred action.

Marlen Florentino, 23, just submitted her application in March. Unemployed and raising two young sons, she decided to first enroll in a GED program at a community college near her home in Reston, Va., in order to meet education requirements.

Florentino admits she was wary of applying for deferred action when she first heard about the program. After seeing her cousins apply without repercussions on their undocumented family members, she decided it was finally safe to acknowledge to the federal government that her family illegally brought her to the U.S. from Mexico when she was 8 years old.

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The Dream Is Now

PREMIERED ON MSNBC – APRIL 14, 2012



TSA Travel Tips Tuesday – Can You Fly Without an ID?

TSA – APRIL 9, 2013

Did the gnome that steals your socks and car keys run off with your ID? Did your license expire and you don’t have time to renew it before you travel? Did you lose your wallet? Did you simply forget your ID at home? While it is much easier to go through screening with the proper identification, you’re not going to cause a snafu if you don’t have it.

If you’re 17 or younger, no problem… you don’t need ID to travel. If you’re 18 or older, no worries… you can still travel.

How so? Simply approach the travel document checker and let them know that you don’t have your ID. At this point, you will be asked a simple randomly computer generated question such as: “What is the average annual rainfall in the Amazon basin?”

Seriously though… You’ll be able to fly as long as you provide us with some information that will help us determine you are who you say you are.

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Una beca sólo para los ‘dreamers’ en Houston

LA VOZ – JANUARY 2, 2013

HOUSTON – La Acción Diferida, que el presidente Barack Obama estableció en 2012, ha sido uno de los mayores logros de los dreamers hasta ahora, que pueden aspirar a vivir aquí temporalmente sin ser deportados y conseguir un permiso de trabajo temporal, pero es una oportunidad que cuesta, de entrada, 465 dólares.

No muchos jóvenes, y menos si son indocuemtnados y sin oportunidad de trabajar, tienen esa cantidad de dinero para tramitar una solicitud.

Por esa razón, un grupo conformado por una firma de abogados y un autor y activista latino local formó una organización sin fines de lucro que otroga becas a 20 dreamers que quieran solicitar la Acción Diferida (DACA, por sus siglas en inglés).

El bufete Monty & Ramírez y Tony Díaz se aliaron para armar Protectors of the Dream (Protectores del Sueño) y convocaron a un comité de selección integrado por líderes comunitarios que selecciona a los chicos que ganan los 465 dólares necesarios para tramitar los papeles.

La Acción Diferida, que Obama convirtió en norma en agosto de 2012, permite a menores de 31 años que llegaron aquí como niños indocumentados el pemanecer en el país por dos años sin temor a ser deportados y poder tabajar mientras tanto. En algunos estados, como Texas, también pueden calificar para obtener licencia de conducir.

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Young Immigrant Saved from Deportation by DACA

HOUSTON, DECEMBER 21, 2012

Lawyers from Monty & Ramirez LLP were able to use DACA to prevent the deportation of David Montez, a 20 year old high school graduate who has been living in the U.S. since he was seven.

Montez was arrested early Wednesday December 17 in Washington County, Texas for driving without a license. As a result of this arrest, the Washington County Sheriff’s Department was going to follow standard operating procedure and contact Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) to begin deportation proceedings. Most such cases result in the removal of the detainee from the U.S.

Because Montez had been proactive and applied for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in October 2012, Martinez’s DACA status caused the Sheriff’s Department to stop the proceedings, and he was released.

The mere fact that Montez had applied for DACA was enough to get him released. When the DREAMer finally made it home – he was welcomed by his relieved family and the Approval of his DACA case.

Sarah Monty, a partner at Monty & Ramirez LLP, said, “This is a major milestone in the local application of this federal policy. This is also an important example of how DACA can make a clear impact on someone’s life and future. DACA is working and protecting Dreamers who have filed from being placed in deportation proceedings.”


Protectors of the Dream gives grants to 20 DREAMers

SEPTEMBER 25, 2012

A group of 20 undocumented students received a grant Monday afternoon from Protectors of the Dream, a nonprofit group in Houston, Texas, that pays for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals filing fees.

Amanda Turcios, 17, a high school senior and the eldest of four children, was part of the first group of DREAM Act students chosen to receive the grant. The students sent in an application to the organization, along with copies of their transcripts and a personal essay.

“I felt like my entire world turned around,” Turcios said. “When I got the email that told me I had gotten it, I felt like I had a new chance at life. I felt like it was a new opportunity for me.”

Protectors of the Dream paid $9,300 for the first round of students who were chosen. Apart from paying for the DACA filing fees, the nonprofit is also starting weekly meetings to inform students of volunteering and internship opportunities.

Turcios said that being a young, undocumented student has been difficult not only on her life but also on her family. She said that not having papers curtailed the opportunities available so she could get the most out of her education.

“As I got into high school, I took advanced classes and most of them you had to pay for,” Turcios said. “They’d ask for your social security, so I had to pay a lot more than citizens did. Last year I wasn’t able to take many classes because I wasn’t able to pay for them.”

As Turcios began her college applications this semester, her undocumented status brought on more difficulties she hadn’t thought of when she was younger.

“For scholarships, the first thing they ask is your social security number, so I knew they were out of the picture,” Turcios said. “As I’ve gotten older things have gotten harder and harder,” she said. “When this act came, I felt like it’s a new opportunity to change my life, not only my own but my family’s also.”

Turcios said that becoming part of Protectors of the Dream and meeting other undocumented students receiving the grant allowed her to see that she is not alone in her struggle.

“Going to the meeting today made me realize I’m not the only teen going through this,” Turcios said. “When I heard one of our speakers talk about how one of the stories made her cry, I realized I wasn’t the only one going through really hard times; it’s not only me, but many more people.”

The second round of applications is due December 2, 2012. To learn more about Protectors of the Dream, go to protectorsofthedream.org.



Organización ‘Protectors of the Dream’ da ayuda financiera

UNIVISION HOUSTON – SEPTEMBER 24, 2012



Funding the Dream: Organizations around the country help DREAMers with deferred action fees

NBC LATINO – AUGUST 20, 2012

For many DREAMers who find themselves cautiously jubilant about the president’s new deferred action immigration policy, one sticking point has continually been mentioned as an obstacle.

The $465 fee.

In an effort to remove this impediment, organizations across the country continue to spring up with the mission of raising money for the fees or giving loans to the undocumented youth.

Author and liberal activist Tony Diaz partnered with Jacob Monty, a Mexican-American lawyer who has bundled and raised money for George W. Bush and John McCain, to co-found Protectors of the Dream, a Houston-based non-profit which has raised $80,000 in two weeks for eligible youth.

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‘Protectors Of The Dream’ Nonprofit Covers Application Fees For Undocumented Immigrants

HUFFINGTON POST – AUGUST 16, 2012

The federal government sowed seeds of hope yesterday as it began collecting applications for two-year work permits from tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants. But while the commencement of President Obama’s Deferred Action program signals life altering progress for so many, eligibility comes with a price.

In addition to conforming to numerous stipulations, acceptable candidates are required to dole out an application fee of $465. Aware of the financial challenge this poses, one Houston nonprofit, Protectors of the Dream, announced on Tuesday its intention to award grants to cover the application fee for 10 to 25 lucky Houston, Texas undocumented applicants, according to ABC.

“This generation of young scholars and activists that has come to be knows as the Dream Act generation is amazing,” Jacob Monty, a representative of the nonprofit, explains. “We are inspiring our business and professional community to lend the resources, skills, and vision to this cause to lobby for more profound immigration reform. We want to start by alleviating the burden of filing fees for Dreamers.”

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Today Is the Day for DREAMers

ABC NEWS – AUGUST 15, 2012

After a lifetime of fearing deportation, being banned from working legally and fighting to stay in the country they grew up in, thousands and thousands of young, undocumented immigrants could get a reprieve today as the federal government begins accepting applications for two-year work permits.

Immigrants who are younger than 31 and were brought to the U.S. before their 16th birthdays are eligible for the permits, which will allow them to stay and work here legally for two years. According to the Migration Policy Institute, up to 1.76 million people could be eligible.

“That document is going to change my life forever,” said Ramiro Luna, 29, who immigrated to Texas from Monterrey, Mexico, when he was 7 years old. “Everything is going to be different. I now feel welcome.”

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Sarah Monty Discussing Mission of POD

VIVA HOUSTON – AUGUST 12, 2012



Organización Protectors of the Dream de Houston ofrece pagar su trámite de Acción Diferida

UNIVISION



Young Illegal Immigrants May Now Apply for Deportation Relief

GO WATERTOWN – AUGUST 15, 2012

After a lifetime of fearing deportation, being banned for legal work and fighting to stay in the country they grew up in, thousands and thousands of young undocumented immigrants could get a reprieve on Wednesday as the federal government begins accepting applications for deferred action permits.

Immigrants who are under the age of 31 and were brought into the country before their 16th birthdays are eligible for the permits, which will allow them to stay in the country legally for two years. According to the Migration Policy Institute, up to 1.76 million could be eligible.

“I have been waiting for this day and will be in line early,” Jose Cabrera, a 23-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico, told ABC’s Gina Sunseri in Houston. “I hope this means someday I can be a real citizen.”

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Get Social

Dreamers Pledge

  • I pledge to live in the light because I will soon be able to live out of the shadows, in the United States of America, the country which I have adopted as my own.
  • I will strive to reach my maximum potential for I know that in me are deposited the hopes and dreams of my family and my community.
  • I understand that I will be held to a higher standard of behavior than others and I vow to carry out my personal life always exhibiting only exemplary comportment in my daily life.
  • I will only seek out the company of those who also walk in the light.
  • I will remain engaged to the plight of those who are forced to live in the shadows so that one day they too may walk out of the shadows.

Thank You For Protecting The Dream:

These are the protectors of the dream