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A.A.J.A. AWARD FOR DECHAVEZ. Educator and community leader Willie D.
Dechavez (center) shows the recognition award he received from the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) during a reception held on March 4, 2011 in the GM Renaissance Conference Center in Detroit. With him in photo are State Senator Hoon Yung Hopgood (left) and journalist Ron Jacinto. Dechavez will also receive the Everyday Hero award on March 9, 2011 from Verizon and Urban League of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan.

Filed under: Campus Talk, Community Service Group, Department of Education, Encouragement, Inspiration, Natatanging Sorsoganon, People who inspired Us, Pinoy Migration, Show your pride, Sorsoganon Everywhere, Sorsoganon in the LIMELIGHT!, Sorsogon News Updates, Sorsogon Outstanding Achievers, Touching Heart, Touching Lives, We will make you SHINE!, , , , , ,

Fil-Ams hail Obama’s immigration reform speech

Filipino-American groups have hailed a major policy speech of US President Barack Obama calling for reforms on the country’s immigration laws that should include a mechanism for the legalization of undocumented immigrants.

“We support the call for a practical, common sense approach to our broken immigration system that both secures the borders and establishes a path to legalization,” said Arnedo Valera of Migrant Heritage Commission.

“The Comprehensive Immigration Reform should be founded on fairness and social justice rooted on American values,” he added.

The National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) also said they are “heartened” by Obama’s speech, saying Filipinos will be among those who will benefit from immigration reforms.

“Filipinos have the longest waiting time for petitions to be approved and are thus adversely affected by protracted delays in visa processing,” said NaFFAA national chairperson Greg Macabenta.

Illegal immigrants in the US have now reached 11 million, according to Obama.

In his speech delivered last Thursday at the American University in Washington, D.C., Obama asked Congress to improve US’ immigration system, which he described as “fundamentally broken” and “painful.”

Obama acknowledged the various economic contributions of immigrants, making US the world’s “engine of global economy and a beacon of hope.”

However, he described in the same speech as “unwise and unfair” the proposals of some groups to either provide immigrants with legal status or at least put a stop to deportation while waiting for a better law to be passed.

“Our nation, like all nations, has the right and obligation to control its borders and set laws for residency and citizenship. And no matter how decent they are, no matter their reasons, the 11 million who broke these laws should be held accountable,” Obama said.

Critics, however, described Obama’s speech as significant but lacking in specific policy proposals.

Discrimination

Valera said the current immigration system promotes discrimination against members of ethnic groups, and leaves undocumented migrants vulnerable to illegal recruiters and unfair labor practices.

“A comprehensive immigration reform now is an effective response to the phenomenon of global migration and the current global economic crisis. Human beings are our resources to build a great nation,” Valera said.

He added that undocumented immigrants seeking better lives for themselves and their children in the US likewise bear the brunt of a flawed immigration system.

Macabenta also notes that many Filipino World War II veterans who had filed petitions for their children have passed away, thus voiding their petitions and depriving their children of immigration benefits.

Proposed immigration bills include a provision exempting eligible children of Filipino veterans from such limitations and expediting their visa applications.

“We need to keep raising our voices loudly and demand moral leadership on this critical issue. We must remind America that we are a nation of immigrants, that regardless of where we came from and how we came here, our shared values strengthen and enrich America’s culture and global standing,” added NaFFAA national vice chairperson Rozita Lee. – JA/KBK, GMANews.TV

By JOSEPH LARIOSA, GMANews.TV

via: http://www.gmanews.tv/story/195212/fil-ams-hail-obamas-immigration-reform-speech

Filed under: Pinoy Migration, Sorsoganon Everywhere

UK to impose temporary cap on migrants

LONDON – A newspaper is reporting that Britain’s new government intends to impose a temporary limit on the number of foreign workers from outside the European Union it allows into the country.

The Times said Home Secretary Theresa May will announce a maximum of 24,100 workers from outside the EU will receive permission to enter Britain between now and April 2011, when new immigration rules go into effect.

The Home Office had no comment on Saturday’s report, which said 54,500 economic migrants from outside the EU came to Britain last year.

Earlier this week, immigration minister Damian Green said the government planned to reduce migration levels back to 1990s levels — “to tens of thousands rather than hundreds of thousands.” —AP

via: http://www.gmanews.tv/story/194531/report-uk-to-impose-temporary-cap-on-migrants

Filed under: Pinoy Migration,

Canada to toughen penalties for immigration fraud

Agence France-Presse

OTTAWA – Citizenship fraud in Canada may soon carry a penalty of up to 5 years in prison and a fine of 100,000 dollars (97,000 US), Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced Thursday.

Under proposed legislation, people applying for citizenship would also be required to be physically present in Canada for three of the four previous years to qualify for citizenship.

The measures are part of sweeping immigration reforms being undertaken to bolster immigration while keeping out undesirables, such as “violent criminals.”

“Canadian citizenship is more than a legal status, more than a passport,” Kenney said. “We expect citizens to have an ongoing commitment, connection and loyalty to Canada.”

Earlier in the week, Kenney unveiled legislation to crack down on corrupt immigration consultants who exploit prospective immigrants.

The proposed bill aimed to strengthen rules governing those who charge a fee for immigration advice, close loopholes exploited by fraudulent consultants and set up a regulatory authority.

The act would also make it a crime for anyone except certified consultants, lawyers or notaries to provide immigration advice for a fee or charge a fee.

Like in most Western nations, Canada’s birthrate has slowed in recent decades and massive immigration is needed to keep its numbers up, in order to keep the economy growing.

But in some cases, newcomers have complained they were duped into paying thousands of dollars to consultants who did nothing to help them obtain citizenship.

As well, some migrants were accused of lying in their citizenship application — for example, about their past involvement in war crimes.

The last census in 2006 found that one in five Canadians (19.8%) was foreign-born, the highest proportion of foreign-born Canadians in 75 years, and second only to Australia (22.2%).

Most recent immigrants (58.3%) now herald from Asia and the Middle East. European migrants, who once accounted for the bulk of newcomers, are now the second-largest group, at 16.1%.

China, India, the Philippines, Pakistan, the United States, South Korea, Romania, Iran, Britain and Colombia, in this order, topped the countries of birth for immigrants from 1981 to 2006.

Last year, a total of 252,124 immigrants came to Canada. More than half were economic migrants, more than one-quarter were family members joining a spouse, parent or child living in Canada, and about 10% were refugees.

Filed under: Pinoy Migration,

Netherlands- Kalayaan Fiesta “Luzviminda 2010”

The picnic organizers this year joined by the majority of the Filipino-Dutch organizations, are gearing up for another exciting kalayaan fiesta, in conjuction with our 22nd Philippine Independence Day celebration in the Netherlands. With the new introduced theme ” Luzviminda 2010“, the programme committee, is committed to showcase the typical Filipino traditions, Dances, Songs & Stage Play, from the north to the southern part of the philippines. ABS/CBN artists will add more highlights to the celebration with shows & singing performances! Lastly, the newly-formed KFFN Youth Group will project extra excitement & dimension with their new program that will create identity for the emerging Filipino-Dutch young generation! Mabuhay! Halina….sa…Spaamwoude! For Picnic House Rules & Regulations please visit http://kalayaanfiesta.wordpress.com

Souce: http://kalayaanfiesta.wordpress.com

Filed under: Family, Friends and Society, Kwentong OFW, Pinoy Migration, Sorsoganon Everywhere, Upcoming Events, What's Happening Here?, Youth Community Service Groups, , , ,

OFWs in Marianas seek approval for US citizenship

From: RJAB Jr./ GMANews.TV

SAIPAN, CNMI – Overseas Filipino workers and their families led Sunday’s motorcade and assembly in the US Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), to ask the US Congress to quickly approve a recommendation to grant long-term immigration status to foreign workers who have been legally staying in the CNMI for at least five years.

The Obama White House, through the US Department of the Interior, recommended conferring US citizenship or permanent residency leading to US citizenship, along with three other options, to foreign workers who have been legally in the CNMI for at least five years.

The CNMI is a US territory in the Western Pacific some three hours away from Manila.

It is home to some 20,000 OFWs and their relatives. The OFWs here work in almost every profession in the private sector as nurses, engineers, architects, teachers, journalists, accountants, clerks, house maids, hotel employees, waiters, and farmers.

There are more than 15,816 foreign workers, mostly OFWs, who have been in the CNMI for five years or more, and another 2,221 who have been here for three to five years.

OFWs at the motorcade and assembly called on the US Congress to act immediately on the Interior recommendation, saying they would like to be given permanent residency or US citizenship, and remain in the CNMI.

But CNMI Governor Benigno R. Fitial, who is on his way to Washington, DC, said he would ask the US Congress not to act on the Interior recommendation until his government is consulted, especially on the proposed improved status of foreign workers.

US Public Law 110-229, the same law that placed CNMI immigration under US control on Nov. 28, 2009, required Interior to come up with a recommendation on the status of long-term workers in the CNMI.

Allan Miones, 47, has been an OFW in the CNMI capital of Saipan for 19 years and now has three children, two of them US citizens. He was one of the thousands of foreign workers who took part in Sunday’s motorcade and assembly.

“My family will be able to stay together if I get improved status. I won’t be sent home and separated from my children if I get permanent residency or become a US citizen,” Miones told GMANews.TV in an interview Sunday.

Should Miones, who hails from Ozamis City in Mindanao, lose his legal immigration status in the CNMI by 2014 or earlier, he would be forced to exit the CNMI.

He could either bring with him his two US citizen children — Kaile Christine, 9, and Alani Rue, 5 — or leave them in the CNMI which is their only known home.

Nenita Orosco, 45, from Capiz in Western Visayas, said she does not want to be separated from her two US citizen children if she loses her job and is forced to exit the CNMI. She said she also does not want to uproot the children from the CNMI where they are studying.

Supporters of foreign workers in the CNMI have been saying that foreign workers who spent five years, even decades of their lives helping build the CNMI economy deserve an immigration status not tied to a yearly contract.

Dr. Gene Sylvester Eagle-Oden, one of the speakers at the assembly, said long-term foreign workers are asking for a “right,” not a privilege.

At the assembly, event organizers distributed copies of statements from Bandila and US-based Filipino-American community leader and lawyer Rodel Rodis, expressing support for the CNMI nonresident workers’ quest for green card or US citizenship.

Those who organized the motorcade and assembly estimated the crowd at 2,000 and 5,000, most of them OFWs. They also estimated 300 to 700 vehicles.

Of the 29,700 work and entry permits that the CNMI issued in 2008 to foreign workers, 18,500 went to OFWs. – RJAB Jr., GMANews.TV

Filed under: Family, Friends and Society, OFW Corner, Pinoy Migration,

US citizenship for foreign workers in Northern Marianas

The US Department of Interior submitted to Congress a report recommending, among others, that those long-term alien workers be conferred US citizenship, or permanent residency status leading to citizenship, according to a report filed by Saipan Tribune.

“Consistent with the goals of comprehensive immigration reform, we recommend that the Congress consider permitting alien workers who have lawfully resided in the CNMI for a minimum period of five years to apply for long-term status under the immigration and nationality laws of the United States,” Assistant Interior Secretary for Insular Affairs Tony Babauta said, in the report.

Should US Congress act on the Interior department’s initiative, some 15,816 aliens residing in the CNMI for five years or more would be covered, along with those who have been in the territory for three to five years, the report said.

There were 20,859 foreigners in the CNMI as of January 2010, with 16,304 classified as workers.

‘Welcome news’ for Pinoys

Data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showed there were over 14,000 Filipinos in the CNMI as of December 2008, with about 13,000 classified as temporary residents and 500 irregulars. The rest are considered permanent residents.

“This is welcome news for us, and we hope that the CNMI government will respect the decision of the Interior,” Ramon Awit, an OFW in the CNMI’s island capital Saipan for 16 years, told GMANews.TV in an interview.

Unlike the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants now in US mainland, foreign workers in the CNMI came to work and live under legal terms in the islands, Awit, an adviser for the CNMI United Filipino Organization, said.

Most foreign workers in the CNMI are part of the US system, having been issued US Social Security numbers, said Rabby Syed, president of the United Workers Movement-NMI, whose membership consists largely of OFWs.

In 2008, the CNMI Department of Labor issued 23,110 permits to foreign workers, with 13,768 going to Filipinos.

“Ngayong may rekomendasyon na ang Interior, mababawasan na ang pagkalito ng mga tao. Sana huwag nang kontrahin ng CNMI (Now that Interior’s recommendation has come up with a recommendation, people will be less confused. Hopefully the CNMI will no longer oppose it),” said Lito Espina, a Saipan-based OFW for 14 years.

Deputy Labor Secretary Cinta Kaipat and House Vice Speaker Felicidad Ogumoro, however, have expressed disappointment with the recommendation at the onset, as it would make it more difficult for the indigenous residents to compete with foreign workers for private sector jobs, the report stated.—VS, GMANews.TV

Filed under: Kwentong OFW, Pinoy Migration,

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