“Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious.” ˜ Bill Meyer
2015 Reading Challenge:
How are you doing with the 2015 Reading Challenge? Have you pick a book you would like to read for fun? I just finished the “Trilogy” section. I read Robyn Carr’s, A Virgin River Novel series. This series has several books, but I read the first three books: Second Chance Pass, Temptation Ridge and Paradise Valley. Each book can stand on its own or flow from one book to the next. It’s a good easy read. Good story and a fun read.
The second section is Classic Romance. The following are suggests not required reading. Enjoy! Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell; Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare; and The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.
Immigration: Support or Not Support
For the past two years I have been on the Board of Directors of Justice for Our Neighbors Dallas Fort Worth (JFONDFW). I am the vice chair this year, and next year I will be chair. JFON is a non-profit organization established by the United Methodist Church in the late 1990’s (www.jfondfw.org). We provide legal services for free or low-cost to help immigrants work through the immigration system. With the immigration system being fluid and constantly changing, it is very difficult for our immigrant neighbors to make headway to become residents or citizens of the United States.
On the other hand, it is also confusing to all those who are concerned with the welfare of our immigrant neighbors and our communities. We are very fortunate to have a wonderful attorney, Maria Macias, with the best possible care and legal assistance for our clients. Maria believes that 2015 is going to be a pivotal year for immigration reform. She states, “the Migration Policy Institute estimates people living in Texas potentially eligible could range from 700,000 to one million. Of this estimate, approximately 25% or 175,000 could be living in North Texas.”
There also has been some confusion about President Obama’s Executive Action that was enacted November 20, 2014. Adrienne Kittos, Tennessee JFON attorney, attended the speech by President Obama. She stated, “Overall, my takeaway is that he (President Obama) recognizes that there is still a lot of work to be done, and my impression is that he does intend to continue pushing for reform while he is in office, rather than resting on the Executive Action” (Posted December 23, 2014 in Featured by Laura Sonnenmark, NJFON office).
The President’s Executive Action is only a temporary fix and does not change one’s immigration status. There has been a lot of negative and wrong information floating around on the internet and the news stations. President Obama has not taken power out of the hands of Congress with this Executive Action. Only Congress can change things with the Immigration Reform package. The following will be helpful to clarify some of the points of the Executive Action:
Fact Sheet: (Search President Obama’s Executive Action for more details)
President Obama’s Executive Action will protect up to five million people from being deported from the United States as well as allow many to work lawfully;
Expand VISA opportunities for immigrants with high-tech skills;
Scrap the controversial Secure Communities policy for “who is being picked up and what is expected of law enforcement partners” (NOTE: on November 20, 2014, the Secure Communities program was discontinued by the Department of Homeland Security). The Secure Communities program was not staying with its original goal of “deporting criminals and using (program) as a general deporation facilitation too!” (Search Secure Communities for more information);
Expand the provision waiver program (www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/test);
Increase resources for enforcement along the Mexican border;
Deferred Action for parents of U.S. Citizens or lawful permanent residents who have been in the United States at least five years and meet other eligibility requirements;
Expansion of the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
We are working hard at JFONDFW to provide services to those who need help in moving through the immigration system. This looks like an exciting year ahead of us with much work and growing success for our neighbors who love the United States and want to live here.
In the months ahead, I will be sharing some of the problems and successes JFONDFW clients face each day.
Today, do something that challenges you, Linda