June 29, 2014 (San Diego)--The San Diego ACLU has filed suit against top immigration officials for unconstitutionally preventing a born-and-raised U.S. citizen from returning to the United States from Mexico. Like Joseph K. in Franz Kafka’s novel The Trial, Oscar Olivas, a 45-year-old natural-born U.S. citizen, has been detained but does not know why. He is unable to access the court before which he stands accused, and has not been allowed to view any evidence used against him.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Diego, naming the port director of Calexico, the San Diego field director of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and Secretary of State John Kerry. The suit asks the court to allow Olivas to return to the United States, declare that he is a United States citizen, and affirm that the order exiling him violated the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.
June 29, 2014 (San Diego) – The Border Patrol has announced that starting this week, it will bring undocumented Central American immigrants from Texas to California. The first groups will include families, not unaccompanied minors, to ease overcrowding of facilities due to an influx of children fleeing violence in Central America.
The families will be brought to San Diego and El Centro to ease what President Barack Obama has called a humanitarian crisis.
ABC News this week interviewed a 17 year old girl who was among those immigrants apprehended attempting to cross into the U.S. In a tearful voice, she told them that she fled her home in Central America after her brother was murdered and a gang threatened her with harm if she would not join. On her journey here, she was gang-raped by several men before reaching the U.S. She was detained after reaching the U.S. but eventually released into custody of a relative in Florida, where she awaits an asylum hearing to determine if she can stay in the U.S. or not.
June 9, 2014 (San Diego) Imagine if you will, going to the doctor and not understanding what your doctor is telling you. Worst, imagine if you will, an EMS crew taking you to the Emergency Room, a life or death situation, and again you are not being able to understand what language the EMS crew, or later the hospital, is speaking.
June 8, 2014(San Diego)--This week, Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, announced the renewal process for undocumented youth who have been granted deferred action from deportation through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
May 27, 2014 (San Diego)—Nile Sisters Development Initiative invites the public to celebrate diverse cultures in the City Heights community on Saturday, June 7 to commemorate World Refugee Month. The event features a variety of ethnic foods, dancing, spoken word, a DJ playing music, raffles, entertainment for children and more.
May 22, 2014 (City Heights)- The mission of the City Heights Partnership for Children, which has been in existence since 2011, is for young people to emerge as adults with the skills to succeed in college or a career and enter adulthood as productive members of the community. From preparing children to kindergarten to saving youngster's vision and even lives, the Partnership is attracting national attention for its successes.
April 25, 2014 (El Cajon -- The eras from the Babylonian Empire to present-day Iraq will be depicted with the Cuyamaca College staging Wednesday, April 30, of “A Journey to the Sun,” a costume and music showcase and labor of love for Arabic instructor Aklas Sheai.
April 25, 2014 (El Cajon) – Iraq will hold elections for parliamentary offices including Prime Minister on April 30. All Iraqi-born people living in the U.S. are eligible to vote, the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce announced today. Locally, eligible voters can cast their ballots on April 27-28 at the Crystal Ballroom, 414 North Magnolia Avenue in El Cajon from 12-2 p.m.
“This is arguably the biggest election since the fall of Saddam Hussein due to the unique circumstance of post-troop withdraw and immense violence,” said Ben Kalasho, president of the Chamber.
April 23, 2014 (Lakeside) --At El Monte Park in Lakeside on March 29, the Kurdish people celebrated Kurdistan’s independence and the Kurdish New Year.
According to Chinar Hussein who helped start the Kurdish Community Center in El Cajon it is fitting that the two events be celebrated together since it is like a “new beginning” for the Kurdish people. She said one reason the occasion was so joyous is because this particular celebration is forbidden in their homeland, Kurdistan, a mountainous region that encompasses portions of northern Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria.
April 21, 2014 (San Diego) – Meb Keflezighi is a champion in every sense of the word—an impoverished refugee who has become a symbol of the American success story—a story crowned by winning this year’s Boston Marathon.
As a child, he came to America as a refugee with his family, fleeing war-torn Eritria in Africa. The son of a janitor and one of 10 children, Keflezighi found that running became his ticket out of poverty. He began running while at Roosevelt Middle School and won the CIF state championships representing San Diego High School. He went on to win four NCAA championships and All-American awards at UCLA before winning a silver medal at the 2004 summer Olympics.
April 19, 2014 (Lemon Grove) - Continuing this season's theme, "immigrant history alive right now," the Lemon Grove Historical Society will present Warda Yonan on the "History Alive" lecture series on May 1 at 7 p.m. in the H. Lee House Cultural Center, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove.
Photo: immigrant-owned businesses in San Diego’s Little Mogadishu, Little Saigon, and downtown El Cajon
By Nadin Abbott
April 9, 2014 (San Diego)—In recent years there has been considerable debate over how to modify the immigration system and how to grow the economy. Both are related--and both matter to not just the national economy, but our regional economy. There has also been renewed emphasis in growing our export capacity, which has lagged. But there has always been an emphasis on small businesses as the engine of American economy—and now a new report shows that immigrants are fueling that engine.
Photo:Ahmed Idlle San Diego Somali leader, receives Director's Community Leadership Award from FBI Director James Comey at FBI Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
By Miriam Raftery
April 5, 2014 (San Diego)— In a ceremony at FBI Headquarters on April 4, 2014, Director James B. Comey recognized the recipients of the 2013 Director’s Community Leadership Award. These leaders, selected by their area FBI field office, have demonstrated outstanding contributions to their local communities through service.
By Lizbeth Francisco, Hannah Haller, Faisal Imami, & Damien Martinez
The authors are seniors at Olympian High School in Chula Vista, CA working together to help refugees by organizing a petition for their cause.
March 5, 2014 (San Diego)-- Nations throughout human history have been torn apart by civil war, natural disasters, famine, and foreign and domestic wars leaving millions of people displaced in a region they once called home. Refugees, as they are called, are forced to live in horrid conditions, usually having to take shelter in government provided camps; these camps however, have no rules on sanitation, drug use, or hardly have an intact system of peacekeeping. Other refugees flee their home countries to seek asylum in other neighboring countries, not facing the same perils as theirs.
January 29, 2014 (El Cajon) – Pope Francis has assigned a Titular See of Foraziana to Bishop Bawai Soro for service of the Diocese of Saint Peter the Apostole of San Diego for Chaldeans and Assyrians. This is a culmination of an eight-year process, since Bishop Sarhad Yawsip Jammo received Bishop Soro, his clergy, and thousands of their Assyrian Christian faithful into the Catholic Church. Bishop Jammo hosted a reception to honor the newly assigned Bishop at St. Peter’s Church in El Cajon on January 14.
“Our Diocese congratulates the whole church on the appointment of new pastors, and roles to help strengthen the congregation,” a statement issued by the Diocese reads. “Pope Francis has proven himself to be an integral part of the ever-growing Catholic Church. We are incredibly humbled by his recognition and appointment.”
November 22, 2013 (San Diego) -- Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) led a delegation letter calling on the Department of Homeland Security to temporarily halt the deportation of Filipino nationals because of the devastating impact Super Typhoon Haiyan has had on the Philippines.
“It would be irresponsible to send individuals into a situation with the level of destruction and suffering occurring in the Philippines right now,” said Davis. “I hope acting Secretary Beers will recognize the gravity of this situation and provide some certainty and relief to those who may be facing deportation.”
Davis and several her House colleagues, including local Democratic representatives Juan Vargas and Scott Peters, asked for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Filipino nationals in the U.S. TPS is designed to protect individuals from being sent home to countries that may be too dangerous for them to return. It would also grant them permission to work in the U.S.
November 14, 2013 – As international relief groups pour into the typhoon-ravaged Philippines, the Women’s Refugee Commission has issued an alert identifying ten crucial needs to protect the victims – including special needs of women and children.
Beyond such essentials as food and water, the WRC urges steps to prevent women and children from sexual violence or human trafficking and to provide medical care to minimize mortality among pregnant women and their babies. Other needs include providing education for displaced youths, economic opportunities for women, and help for the disabled.
Full tape of interview reveals comments praising Chaldeans in addition to remarks deemed culturally insensitive by cricis
By Miriam Raftery
October 24, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – At Tuesday’s El Cajon City Council meeting, a crowd of Irarqi Chaldean community members denounced remarks made by Mayor Mark Lewis in an interview with Progressive Magazine for an article published in May. Critics denounce the remarks as insensitive and reinforcing racial stereotypes.
Supporters say the comments were taken out of context. An audiotape of the full one-hour interview posted by RawStory in fact reveals many positive statements made by the Mayor about Chaldeans, as well as the remarks that stirred controversy. Some backers of the Mayor have suggested a financial motive behind the criticism emerging months after the story first ran, noting that a leading critic represents Chaldean store owners chafing under a newly enacted city policy restricting alcohol sales.
African beads auctioned, traditional dances showcased
By Janis Mork
October 3, 2013 (San Diego) - The Somali Bantu Association of America held a fundraiser for their youth group to receive new supplies and computer activities. Throughout the event in September, there was also a silent auction on African beads.
Isha Aweyso, a volunteer of the association, welcomed everyone. “We have things you can buy to help our community,” he said, noting that the event benefits students. “I’m really thankful to have this association community.”
September 30, 2013 (San Diego)--On September 27th, Assemblymember Toni Atkins met with community members, medical interpreters and former patients to honor those who have been affected by language access barriers at medical facilities. She also called on Governor Jerry Brown to sign legislation to improve patients’ access to interpreters.
September 27, 2013 (San Diego) – A candlelight vigil and fundraiser to help victims of the terrorist attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya will be held tonight at 8 p.m. at Flavors of East Africa, a Kenyan restaurant at 2322 El Cajon Blvd. , San Diego 92104. Ten percent of all proceeds from food sold tonight will be donated to the Kenyan Red Cross.
August 29, 2013 (San Diego) - At the San Diego Refugee Forum on August 20, the focus was on housing issues faced by refugees. The forum covered a variety of programs on housing and other topics, including announcements of upcoming events in San Diego and East County.
Faith Espejo, Director of Program and Operations, and Tina Parra, Resources Coordinator of San Diego HUB, from Housing Opportunities Collaborative addressed housing issues. HUB serves as an information clearinghouse by consolidating housing-related information and making it easily accessible to the public and partners, and also acts as a hub for its partners by conducting outreach events to educate and provide housing counseling services to the public.
August 8, 2013 (El Cajon) – Foreign-trained doctors, nurses and medical technicians may help fill the gap between the number of health care professionals working in the United States today and the larger number expected to be needed when the federal Affordable Care Act goes into effect on January 1, 2014.
Welcome Back Centers at Grossmont College and eight other locations around the United States help to coordinate local efforts to prepare the foreign medical professionals for their American licensing examinations.
June 26, 2013 (San Diego) – Commemorating the 53rd anniversary of Somali independence, the 9th annual Somali American Cultural Fest will be held on Saturday, June 29 from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Market Creek Plaza at Jacob Center in City Heights, 3- 8 p.m.
Thousands of Somali refugees and immigrants now call San Diego home. The event will feature music, dance, poetry, a fashion show, children’s activities, food and vendor booths as well as free health screenings. The event is organized by Somali Youth United.
Event is part of massive roll-out to educate local refugees on new healthcare laws and more
By Miriam Raftery
June 24, 2013 (City Heights) – “This is the largest refugee resettlement community in California and one of the largest in the United States,” Councilmember Marti Emerald said at Somali Family Service Community Healthcare Fair held on World Refugee Day event Saturday in City Heights Community Park, in collaboration with East African Collaborative.
June 22, 2013 (City Heights)--The Fifth Annual Health Fair in Honor of World Refugee Day willl be held on June 22 in the City Heights Community Park at 3795 Fairmont Avenue, San Diego from 1-5 p.m. This year Somali Family Services is partnering once again with the East African Collaborative - a collaborative of eight organizations working with East African communities in San Diego. The Fair’s theme is Healthcare Reform, and this year SFS aims to inform the East African community about the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Admission is free and includes free healthcare screenings and presentations, cultural entertainment, children's activities, giveaways, and more.
June 21, 2013 (San Diego) – June is International Refugee Month and the Nile Sisters Development Initiative is sponsoring World Refugee Day on June 29 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at 6035 University Avenue, San Diego, in the parking lot. The event will celebrate the diverse refugee cultures in our community with food, music, entertainment, raffles and more.
Want fresh vegetables? Now you can pick up garden-fresh produce in El Cajon or City Heights—or have it delivered directly to your home, all while helping local refugees from war-torn nations.
To get started, just join the International Rescue Committee’s community supported agriculture (CSA) program for this summer season. Participants will receive a colorful share of farm-fresh and local vegetables grown by refugee farmers participating in IRC’s sustainable agriculture program.
May 13, 2013 (Geneva) – A new report released today by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) reveals that 32.4 million people were forced to flee their homes in 2012 by disasters such as floods, storms and earthquakes. While Asia and west and central Africa bore the brunt, 1.3 million were displaced in rich countries, with the USA particularly affected.
Nearly all (98%) of displacement in 2012 was linked to climate- and weather-related events.