Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Promises Broken: Recruited Immigrant Teachers Lied to by NY Leaders!

NEW YORK — New York City teachers recruited from Jamaica, Trinidad and other Caribbean countries a decade ago said Wednesday that the city needs to do more to help them and their families obtain permanent U.S. residency. Some 500 Caribbean teachers were recruited in 2001 when the city faced a teacher shortage. The teachers say they were hired with the understanding that New York City officials would help them regularize their immigration status. But teachers who attended a news conference Wednesday on the steps of City Hall said they are here on H-1B work visas they need to keep renewing or risk deportation; meanwhile, their adult children are not legally able to work.

Special education teacher Antoinette Nesbitt said her 27-year-old daughter went to culinary school but can't use her degree. "It's killing her," she said. Kevin Lowe, a 26-year-old whose mother is a music teacher, said he has no choice but to stay in college. "It's hard to wake up every morning not knowing what your future will be like," he said.

Advocates for the teachers said that until recently, New York City officials have not shown a commitment to help with the teachers' immigration status. "For over a decade, these teachers and their families have been in a legal struggle, fighting to stay in this city and build a life," said City Councilman Jumaane Williams of Brooklyn.
But they said the city is now on board. Said Fatima Shama, who leads Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Office of Immigrant Affairs, "We are committed to identifying and working for practical solutions that will provide permanent residency for our international teachers." Shama did not elaborate on what help the city would provide. But supporters of the teachers say what is needed is a unified lobbying effort to secure special immigration status for the teachers and their families.

"This is now a federal issue and we need to fix this in Washington, D.C.," said teachers union President Michael Mulgrew. "It's going to require us going together to Washington and saying enough is enough."

Similar issues have arisen in other U.S. communities that recruited foreign teachers. Hundreds of Filipino teachers in Maryland's Prince George's County fear they could be sent back to the Philippines after school officials said they would no longer request work-visa renewals for "non-critical workers" such as elementary, music and language teachers.

1 comment:

Vicente Duque said...

Houston homebuilder Bob Perry and grocery chain magnate Charles E. Butt ( HEB ) hired one of Austin's most powerful lobbyists to oppose the "Sanctuary Cities". Bob Perry is Texas top Republican donor. Last year, he gave some $7 million, $2.5 million to Rick Perry.


Lawmakers said business interests worried that the law would allow police to harass their workers. The construction and retail industries employ thousands of immigrants in Texas and across the nation.

The testimony of high level law enforcement officials throughout the state and opposition by key Republican frunders such as the Butt family of HEB convinced key Repulicans in the house to block the bill in the house.


REUTERS.COM
Business lobby helps scuttle immigration curbs in Texas
Business interests and law enforcement opposed bill
Texas legislation less restrictive than Arizona's
By Karen Brooks


http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/30/immigration-texas-idUSN1E75S29320110630



Some excerpts :

BUSINESS CONCERNS

Two powerful Texas businessmen joined the lobbying against the bill, legislative sources told Reuters.

Houston homebuilder Bob Perry and grocery chain magnate Charles E. Butt hired one of Austin's most powerful lobbyists to oppose the legislation.

Bob Perry has long been known as the top Republican donor in Texas. Last year alone, he gave some $7 million to political candidates, mainly Republicans, according to the Texas Ethics Commission. Some $2.5 million of that went to Governor Rick Perry. Bob Perry is not related to the governor.

Butt, who owns the H-E-B grocery store chain, donated close to $1 million to political candidates on both sides of the aisle last year, according to the commission.

"They had real reservations about it," Bill Miller, the lobbyist hired by the influential businessmen, told Reuters. "They wanted some changes made, and we expressed the reservations they had about it to members, which kind of slowed it down,"

Miller would not say what those concerns were, and calls to homebuilder Perry for comment were not returned late Wednesday. But lawmakers said business interests worried that the law would allow police to harass their workers. The construction and retail industries employ thousands of immigrants in Texas and across the nation.

Another factor in the bill's demise may have been opposition from Texas law enforcement groups.
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