Investigation Reveals Discrimination In Long Island School District

school

Recent news broke about an investigation in several Long Island school districts where immigrant students, primarily from Central and South America were being discriminated against. For 15 months New York Attorney General Eric Schniederman’s office conducted the investigation and found that there were questionable practices within Long Island’s Westbury District where students were schools debated a student’s country of birth, excluded English language learners age 16 or older from attending high school and delayed or outright denied immigrant students admission for three years.

As a result to the findings Westbury will join 21 other districts in an agreement with the Attorney General that will ensure equal treatment and a variety of requirements that will develop new enrollment procedures, and provide educational service compensation to any of the students affected between 2012 and 2015.

There were no specific punishments handed down to any individual members of the Westbury school district, but the joint effort between the Attorney General’s office and the New York Immigration Coalition seems to have made a significant statement in support of fair and equal treatment of the immigrant population in Long Island.

In a statement released by Schneiderman he called education the “bedrock of our American democracy and every child in our country – no matter where they were born – deserve the chances to attend a school and seek a diploma.”

A Jamaican Immigrant Dream of a Restaurant

goldenkrustBelieve or not, Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill is New York city’s biggest locally owned restaurant chain. This Jamaican-owned cuisine fast food chained has 70 spots in New York city alone and there are at least 120 spots in almost dozen states. The potential of such a great place for Caribbean food started with Ephraim Hawthorne who ran 50-year-old bakery in St. Andrews, Jamaica. Then in 1989, on Gun Hill Road in Bronx, New York his son Lowell Hawthorne decided to go in the family business when he opened the first U.S restaurant. Now 26 years later, that one restaurant has blossomed into numerous restaurants that are symbol of how a Caribbean immigrant’s dream can become a reality. For it is presently the largest producer of Caribbean style baked products in the U.S. and it is deemed the leading Jamaican business in the U.S.

 

New Program Helps NYC Immigrants Attain the “American Dream”

Many immigrants make the decision to come to the United States for access to the better opportunities available here. Yet, too often these immigrants end up settling for jobs in which they are overqualified for because their foreign degrees are not recognized in the U’S. It is unfortunate that so many immigrants either go underemployed, or even unemployed, when they could be helping to enrich our economy by practicing their different specialties.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation recognized this problem and has taken the initiative to pilot the Immigrant Bridge Program. This program is the first of it’s kind in the U.S., helping connect highly skilled immigrants to jobs in their field of work.

To read the full article about the Immigrant Bridge Program click here.

Obviously, this program will not revive the economy or be the solution to all immigrants’ problems, but it can be a step in the right direction. Perhaps it will help American’s who are against immigration reform realize how beneficial immigrants can be to our country.

When it matters, Mets stumble

The Mets are known to reach out to the Hispanic community.  However, when they visit Arizona to play the Diamondbacks from July 19-21, they will not wear the Los Mets jersey to protest the Arizona immigration law. Instead they will don the jerseys on August 13 and September 17. For a team that reaches out to the Hispanic community, there’s really no better way to show their support. I know they already planned to wear the jerseys in the two other games but this is their chance to protest that the immigration law isn’t right. Of course, the not everyone disagrees with the law but it just doesn’t make any sense to wear the jerseys to celebrate days such as Hispanic Heritage Month and not in Arizona. The Major League Baseball Players Association has also disapproved  law.

Easy as 1-2-3?

New details regarding the immigration status of Faisal Shahzad, the man who tried to bomb Times Square are emerging. The government knows that he is a U.S. citizen but could he have gotten his citizenship too easily? That’s what they are trying to figure. He got his citizenship by marriage and because of that, it’s very possible that in the future, it won’t be that easy.   This can’t be good news for immigrants, especially those that are here without papers. This  makes it that much harder for immigrants to be granted citizenship. For those without papers, they have to be extra careful as states could adapt to the new immigration law similar to the one in Arizona.

Immigration rally in Queens

A rally was held in Queens today after a new immigration law was passed in Arizona. Under the new law, immigrants have to carry their documents with them and police are given the power to make an arrest if they think immigrants are here illegally. There is no such law in New York…..yet. But immigrants fear that it will follow Arizona’s lead and that could mean trouble – which is why they held a rally. They are hoping to get President Obama’s attention. After more than a year in office, President Obama have not done anything for immigrants as he had promised. Note to President Obama: ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS!

John Jay Accused of Immigration Discrimination

The New York Times has recently reported that the Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against John Jay College of Criminal Justice, claiming that the college took part in job discrimination against non-citizens who are authorized to work in the U.S.

Allegedly, the college violated a stipulation of the 1996 Immigration and Nationality Act by demanding additional work authorization from at least 103 non-citizens since 2007, instead of accepting their work-eligibility documents. The legislation prohibits employers from enforcing different job verification standards on non-citizens than on citizens, but according to the complaints filed, John Jay has been requesting green cards in addition to unrestricted driver licenses and Social Security cards, and has been firing employees if they didn’t comply. The suit seeks penalties of $1100 per individual, as well as additional compensation.