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On January 2, 2012, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, announced a final rule in the Federal Register that reduces the time some U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives (spouse, children, and parents), who are in the process of obtaining a visa to become a lawful permanent resident (“green card holder”).
 
Under current immigrant law, certain undocumented immigrants that are immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are not eligible to adjust their immigration status in the United States to become a lawful permanent resident, and must leave the U.S. to obtain an immigrant visa. The challenge facing these individuals, which has effectively kept many immediate relatives of U.S. citizens from adjusting their immigration status, is a three or ten year ban that immigration law imposes on certain individuals who leave the United States after having lived in the U.S. as undocumented immigrants. Under the new process, undocumented immigrants would be seeking a waiver to the ban before they leave the United States, so that they can pursue legal permanent residency in the U.S.
 
Beginning March 4, 2013, certain undocumented immigrants will be able to apply for a provisional “unlawful presence” waiver before they depart the United States to attend immigrant visa interviews in their countries of origin.  More information about the filing process will be made available in the coming weeks at www.uscis.gov.
 
“This final rule facilitates the legal immigration process and reduces the amount of time that U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives who are in the process of obtaining an immigrant visa,” said Secretary Napolitano.
 
“The law is designed to avoid extreme hardship to U.S. citizens, which is precisely what this rule achieves,” USCIS Director Mayorkas said. “The change will have a significant impact on American families by greatly reducing the time family members are separated from those they rely upon.”
 
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The labor movement has a rich history in the state of Michigan. On Tuesday that history was dealt a major blow. The Michigan legislature rammed through and the Governor signed “freedom to work” (freedom to freeload) legislation into law. No committee hearings, no public debate, lock the doors to the capital and hide behind the heavily guarded doors and pass whatever laws you can during a lame duck session. Frightening!

 For those of us that spent several days chanting, singing, making phone calls, meeting with our legislators and planning the rally that brought nearly 20,000 workers to the steps of and inside the capital; it is almost enough to make us want to give up.

b2ap3_thumbnail_blog-pic-1.jpg(Left-UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada is interviewed; right-Greater Lansing LCLAA Vice President Michael Huerta protesting at the Michigan state capital)

We in the labor movement have a habit of losing perspective. We often forget the long hours and hard work that made our victories possible. Can you imagine a world in which Dr. King had given up after the first time he met opposition? 

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Can you imagine a world in which Cesar Chavez and the UFW’s demands weren't met they gave up during the grape boycotts? (the boycott lasted 10 years)

b2ap3_thumbnail_blog-pic-3.jpg Can you imagine a world where Owen Beiber, of the UAW, had never pressured the Apartheid regime in South Africa to release Nelson Mandella or had given up the first time he was rebuffed?

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Can you imagine a world without child labor laws, safety standards, Civil Rights, human rights and workers’ rights? We are a part of something much bigger than we imagine. We are a part of a movement. Our struggles will continue long after we are gone and they began long before we were born. Our rich legacy that provided us with the labor laws, workplace safety, vacations, benefits and wages demands that we continue to fight. We must also remember that we forge the legacy that future generations will battle to keep. As Dr. King reminded us “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” We must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and continue the work of the labor movement. Temporary setbacks are just that – temporary. The long lists of contributions from labor to the world were all earned through hard work, long battles and patience.  It is our responsibility to continue these struggles - this is the cost of our legacy! 

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Michigan Right to Work Rally in front of State Capitol.

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El 15 de junio del 2012, el Departamento de Seguridad Interna de Estados Unidos (DHS por sus siglas en inglés) anunció una nueva política  conocida como “acción diferida para los llegados en la infancia” o deferred action for childhoold arrivals (DACA por sus siglas en inglés). La política de DACA permite suspender temporalmente las deportaciones de ciertos jóvenes y estudiantes indocumentados que cumplen con los requisitos. Para obtener más información sobre la política de DACA y como determinar si usted es elegible para aplicar y que pasos debe seguir, por favor visite el sitio web de la Oficina de Ciudadania y Servicios Migratorios (USCIS):: www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals

Si eres un soñador que fue aprobado para obtener DACA y ya tiene un número de identificación personal contribuyente (ITIN ), hay algunos pasos que debe de seguir:

1) Solicitar un Número de Seguro Social (SSN);

2) Transferir su historial de crédito ITIN a su nuevo número

3) Ponerse en contacto con la oficina del Servicio de Impuestos Internos (IRS) para rescindir su ITIN.

Para mas informacion de ITIN, por favor visite:

  • http://www.irs.gov/Spanish/N%C3%BAmero-de-Identificaci%C3%B3n-Personal-del-Contribuyente-(ITIN)-1

La mayoría de los estadounidenses indocumentados no son elegibles para un SSN pero si son elegibles para un Número de Identificación Personal Contribuyente (ITIN). El ITIN es un número de identificación personal expedido por el Servicio de Impuestos Internos para los extranjeros en los Estados Unidos que les permite declarar y pagar impuestos. Con un ITIN, las personas pueden aprovechar ciertas oportunidades financieras, tales como la solicitud de tarjetas de crédito y la obtención de préstamos. Por lo tanto, muchos soñadores que cuentan con su ITIN tienen un historial crediticio amplio que han construido en los últimos años.

Los soñadores con acción diferida son elegibles para solicitar un número de Seguro Social (SSN) y deben transferir su actual historial crediticio a ese número. Además, los  soñadores también deben comunicarse con el IRS para cancelar su ITIN existente ya que ninguna persona puede contar con un numero de Seguro social y un ITIN al mismo tiempo.

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Last updated 12/22/2012

On June 15, 2012, the Obama Administration announced Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a new administrative policy which would grant deferred status to certain undocumented Americans who met a series of requirements. For more information on DACA, including determining whether you are eligible and what steps you can take to apply, please visit the USCIS’s website: www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals.

If you’re a DREAMer that was approved for DACA and have an individual tax identification number (ITIN), there are a few key steps that you should take next, including:

1) Applying for a Social Security Number (SSN);

2) Transferring your ITIN credit history to your new SSN; and

3) Contacting the IRS to rescind your ITIN.

Most undocumented Americans are not eligible for a SSN but are eligible for an Individual Tax Identification Number. An ITIN is a tax identification number issued by the Internal Revenue Service to foreign nationals in the United States that allows them to file and pay taxes. With an ITIN, individuals can take advantage of certain financial opportunities, such as applying for credit cards and obtaining loans. Thus, many DREAMers with ITINs have extensive credit histories that they’ve built over the past few years.

DREAMers with deferred action are eligible to apply for a SSN and should transfer their existing credit history to that number. Additionally, DREAMers must also contact the IRS to rescind their existing ITIN as an individual cannot an ITIN and Social Security number at the same time.

(click on continue reading for the rest of the guide)

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Today's guest post is by Jessica González-Rojas, Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and was originally published on December 6, 2012 at Fox News Latino.

How does the looming “fiscal cliff,” which threatens to raise taxes on just about everyone and reduce essential services, impact Latinas? Given that Latinas have barely been mentioned in the media firestorm about the looming budget crisis, it’s not surprising many of us aren’t thinking of this as one of our issues. But the stakes for Latinas and their families are disproportionately enormous.

Many Latinas already face a “fiscal cliff,” living month to month with no safety net. This includes families across the income spectrum, from poor to middle class families, who are just one mishap away from financial collapse, whether it be a job layoff or a sick child or the mundane roadblocks like a pricey car repair that means some months the ends just don’t meet. In fact, studies show that Latino families that self-define as middle class in reality have fewer financial resources than white families who consider themselves middle class. It is families like these, those at most risk of economic collapse, that will be most impacted by a “fiscal cliff” that raises taxes and eliminates essential services.

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