A Lesson in America’s Rich History of Immigration

By Kathy Mimberg, Media Relations Manager, NCLR

Immigration FamiliesHappy Thanksgiving, America!

As we reflect this week on the things for which we are thankful, I think of the terrific teachers at my son’s public school who have strengthened his understanding of our nation’s history as a community of immigrants.  Recently, I had the pleasure of participating in a yearly event that his Social Studies teachers developed that truly brings America’s “salad bowl” history to life for their students, who represent a diverse mix of race, ethnicity, religion and family income levels.

After weeks of investigating where turn-of-the-century migrants came from and why they left their home countries to start a new life far from everything that was familiar, the students had chosen their roles and were ready for “Ellis Island Day.”  They adopted new names, researched and wrote narratives, and memorized details of background, family, and religion in order to answer questions from immigration agents and gain U.S. citizenship.  Their work culminated in a full school day devoted to the Ellis Island experience, during which teachers and parent volunteers acted as agents, doctors, and judges who reviewed their documents, assessed each immigrant’s case, and decided whether to approve or deny citizenship applications. Continue reading

Keeping Our Elders in Our Hearts and Minds This Thanksgiving

By Marcela Vargas, Project Coordinator, Institute for Hispanic Health, NCLR

CAG Homecare worker2This week is Thanksgiving, and like many of you, I’m getting ready to head home and spend the holiday with my extended family.  November is best known for Thanksgiving, but there are other causes worth recognizing this month.  November is also National Alzheimer’s Diseases Awareness Month and National Caregiver Awareness Month.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Latinos are 1.5 times more likely to get Alzheimer’s than non-Hispanic Whites.  A few reasons for this are the higher rates of risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol that exist in our community.  This is particularly troubling because the older Hispanic adult population is growing faster than older adults of other races and ethnicities, according to the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCA).  With a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s and a rapidly growing population, it’s important to educate ourselves about how we can recognize and help our loved ones manage this disease.  Continue reading

President Obama Throws Support Behind for Fast for Families

Yesterday, President Obama gave a speech in San Francisco further expressing his support for immigration reform and outlining what needs to happen for us to get there. During the speech, Mr. Obama also gave a shoutout to the Fast for Families protest happening on the National Mall, telling them to stay strong in the fight.

Obama shout out to fasters

We thank the presdident for his enduring support of this important fast and for his committment to see immigration through. We especially thank Eliseo Medina of SEIU and the other fasters who have made this great sacrifice in the name of families and immigration reform.

Watch the full video of the president’s speech below:

This Thanksgiving, Remember that Safe Food Begins with Safe Workplaces

(This was first posted to the National Council for Occupational Health and Safety blog.)

Guest Blog by Catherine Singley, Senior Policy Analyst, NCLR

Poultry workers

This year, President Obama will carry out the tradition of pardoning the White House Thanksgiving turkey. Indeed, for most of us, the Thanksgiving turkey is the centerpiece of this quintessentially American tradition. That’s why Americans consumers should be alarmed to learn that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for ensuring the safety of meat and poultry products, is pursuing a regulatory change that would put consumers and food workers in harm’s way. Under the auspices of improving food safety, USDA’s proposed rule would actually pull government inspectors off of poultry processing lines and allow companies to speed up their production lines.

USDA’s proposed inspection model would allow production line speed to increase from 32 turkeys to 55 turkeys per minute (a 72 percent increase). In chicken plants, the speed would increase from 140 to 175 birds per minute (a 25 percent increase). That’s about one-third of a second to inspect each bird.  Continue reading

Weekly Washington Outlook – November 25, 2013

White House at Night

What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

The House: The House is in recess, returning December 2nd.

The Senate: The Senate is in recess, returning December 9th.

White House: On Monday, the president will travel to San Francisco for an event on immigration at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center as well as an event for the DNC. In the afternoon, he will travel to Los Angeles where he will take part in two DCCC/DSCC events. On Tuesday, the president will attend an event for the DNC followed by an event on the economy at Dreamworks Animation. The President will return to Washington on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, he will pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey at the White House. On Thursday, the President will celebrate Thanksgiving at the White House. No public events are scheduled on Thursday or Friday.  Continue reading