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Tag Archives: Cambodian

Legislation of interest, an update (Education, welfare reform, veterans bills..)

Education Funding

HF 2480 (Winkler) / SF 2029 (Sieben)
Corporate tax provisions and school shift requirements modifications
https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/bldbill.php?bill=H2480.0.html&session=ls87

Named “Pay Back Our Kids Act,” read more in a Star Tribune article “DFLers call for payback of money borrowed from schools”

Jobs and workforce training

HF 2277 (Mahoney) / SF 1768 (Skoe)
New jobs tax credit established, corporate franchise and sales and use taxes changes made, and money appropriated.

This legislation would provide a one-time $3,000 tax credit to any Minnesota business for each veteran, unemployed worker or recent college graduate hired during the 2012 calendar year, and a $1,500 credit for each new hire through June 2013.

HF 2181 (Brynaert)  / SF1751 (Eaton)
FastTRAC adult career pathway program establishment and appropriation
https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/bldbill.php?bill=H2181.0.html&session=ls87

Welfare Reform

SF 1833 (Benson) / HF 2080 (Daudt)
Minnesota family imvestment program (MFIP) ineligibility, sanctions, time limit, and exit level modifications
https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/bldbill.php?bill=S1833.0.html&session=ls87

The above bills were among a series of welfare reforms proposed in February that met with strong opposition from low-income advocacy groups. Read more in the article: ‘Welfare Reform 2.0’ moves ahead, but met with anger at Legislature

Veterans

HF 2261 (Dettmer)
Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery burial eligibility expanded to include deceased allied Hmong-American or Lao-American veterans of the American Secret War in Laos.
https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/bldbill.php?bill=H2261.0.html&session=ls87

HF 2260 (Dettmer)
Congress and the President of the United States memorialized to amend federal veterans cemetery law to expand eligibility for burial in state veterans cemeteries developed with federal funding to include allied Hmong-American and Lao-American veterans of America’s Secret War in Laos.
http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hinfo/sessiondaily.asp?storyid=2977

HF 2629 (Anderson, B.)
Resolution; Congress and the President of the United States memorialized to formally recognize the Khmer Freedom Fighters.

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/bldbill.php?bill=H2629.0.html&session=ls87

Read more about this bill in the article: Resolution would affirm Khmer soldiers

Click the “Read the rest of this entry” link to view previously mentioned legislation of interest (from Feb. 7th, 2012)

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2012 in Legislative

 

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Interpreters needed

The Center for Victims of Torture is seeking Tigrenya, Karen, Cambodian/Khmer, and Mandingo interpreters to provide interpretation services to international clients who are receiving therapy, social, and medical services. Interpretation is typically in a face-to-face setting, but there may be periodic need for phone interpretation or document translation.  Interpretation services are provided on a part-time, as-needed basis in St. Paul. Hours vary, but typically interpreters will work between 2 to 6 hours per week. Hourly rate is $20-$25 per hour.

  • Applicant must possess excellent interpreting skills.
  • Fluency in target language and English.
  • Must be registered on the MN Department of Health Interpreter Registry
  • Interpreting experience in the medical, mental health, or social services areas preferred.
  • Experience working in a confidential environment.
  • Interested in the advancement of human rights.
  • Must be able to work flexible hours between the hours of 9 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday.

For more information and to apply:  http://cvt.simplicant.com/

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2012 in Community news

 

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Working with Refugees in Minnesota

Working with Refugee Families in the Child Welfare System

children with a world globe

Authors
Patricia Shannon, PhD, LP
Jennifer Simmelink, MSW

This module provides information about the major refugee groups in Minnesota, the Karen, Bhutanese, Oromo, Somali, and Iraqi. It provides political and cultural context for these groups as well as information about factors that impact them in the child welfare system. It also includes recommendations for child welfare workers who work with these populations.

NOTE: CEU credit is not available for this module because it can be completed in less than 30 minutes.

Follow the link below to watch the presentation.

Watch the module on  Working with Refugee Families in the Child Welfare System

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Health Literacy: Implications for Immigrant and Refugee Families

 mother and children

Authors:
Hee Yun Lee, PhD

This modules explores the relationship between health literacy, health outcomes, and health disparities with special attention to children and families and immigrants and refugees.  It provides specific examples of how health literacy can affect health outcomes and offers interventions to respond to health literacy needs and to reduce health disparities.

Follow this link to watch the module.

 

Taking the Quiz and Earning Continuing Education Hours (CEHs)

At the end of this module, you will be given a choice to connect to the quiz for the module.  Upon successful completion of the quiz (80% or above correct), there will be a link to a secure site to pay a minimal fee for the CEHs and receive a CEH completion certificate.  The module has a value of 1 CEH ($15.00).

Back to Online Learning Modules page

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2012 in Resources

 

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SEARAC Press Release: New Federal Guidance on Promoting Diversity & Reducing Racial Isolation in K-12 Schools and Higher Education Benefits SE Asian American Students

The below is a press release from the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 8, 2011

Contact: Pang Houa Moua, panghoua@searac.org; (202) 744-0436

New Federal Guidance on Promoting Diversity and Reducing Racial Isolation in K-12 Schools and Higher Education Benefits Southeast Asian American Students

Washington, DC –  On Friday December 2, 2011, the United States Department of Education and the United States Department of Justice jointly issued new federal guidance to provide a roadmap for K-12 schools, colleges, and universities to leverage the benefits of educational diversity to achieve high quality, inclusive educational opportunities for all students. The Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) applauds this new guidance that provides tremendous opportunities for institutions to serve the educational needs of Southeast Asian American and other underserved students.

The guidance makes clear that the nation’s K-12 schools and colleges can use race in a variety of ways to assemble diverse student bodies and improve the quality of education for every student. The new guidance also provides concrete suggestions that K-12 schools and colleges can pursue in order to enhance social cohesion, reduce racial and economic isolation, and improve the quality of education for every student. The guidance for colleges and universities provides examples for a range of approaches to achieving diversity, including admissions procedures, development of pipeline programs, recruitment and outreach initiatives, and support programs (including mentoring, tutoring, and retention).

“At the K-12 level, too many of our students attend racially and economically isolated schools, and contrary to the ‘model minority myth’ – a misconception that all Asian Americans excel academically and face few obstacles – Southeast Asian American and Pacific Islander students remain underrepresented within higher education,” said Quyen Dinh, education policy advocate at SEARAC. Educational disparities within the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community are highlighted when educational outcomes are disaggregated by subgroup. For example, according to the American Community Survey, in comparison to over 86% of the overall Asian American population who holds a high school degree or higher, disaggregated data reveals that this is true for only 67% of Cambodian, 65% of Hmong, 68% of Laotian, and 70% of Vietnamese Americans aged 25 and over. In California, a 2010 report found that over a four-year period, one-fifth of Pacific Islander students in grades 9-12 are estimated to drop out. This guidance is a powerful advocacy tool for Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander communities to voice the needs for their students to be included in diversity policies at educational institutions.

SEARAC supports the Department of Education and Department of Justice in the issuance of this guidance and is ready to work with both agencies to ensure that this guidance acts to alleviate educational barriers that still exist for many Southeast Asian Americans and other underrepresented communities.

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2011 in Legislative, National news, Press Release

 

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STAND BY COMMITMENT TO MINNESOTA’S REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS

The following article was originally printed in Asian American Press on Oct. 24, 2011

(Comments from CAPM: the typical fee for a citizenship test is $675, a cost that is very difficult to afford for low-income refugees and immigrants, especially those with a disability and limited English proficiency.)

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STAND BY COMMITMENT TO MINNESOTA’S REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS

By Pham Thi Hoa and John Keller

Mr. Vang is a refugee who was resettled in Minneapolis in 2004 after spending over a decade living in a makeshift refugee camp in Wat Thamkrabok in Thailand.

Like thousands of Hmong men, Mr. Vang proudly fought alongside U.S. forces during the Secret War in Laos. Because of his allegiance to the United States, Mr. Vang became a refugee after U.S. forces pulled out of Southeast Asia.

The United States agreed to resettle him and his family as legal refugees to the U.S., and ultimately Minnesota, under our international humanitarian treaty obligations. Today, he faces yet another crisis that leaves him fearful for his well-being.

At 63 years old, he faces the looming cut off of his Supplemental Security Income in the coming months if he does not successfully naturalize. He has already attempted to naturalize once, but did not pass the test because of his limited English language ability and his disability which both qualifies him for SSI and simultaneously makes attaining citizenship more difficult.

On September 30th, Supplemental Security Income benefits will run out for thousands of low income, elderly and disabled refugees across the nation like Mr. Vang, unless Congress acts quickly to address a short term extension of the benefits. In fact, 720 refugees in Minnesota are projected to lose their SSI in 2011 alone — the third highest number in the country.

SSI provides the bare minimum, no more than $674 for an individual, and $1,011 for a couple per month, to afford the very basic necessities. During these tough economic times, it is especially unconscionable for us to cut off basic resources to this vulnerable community to whom we promised humanitarian treatment, when it could mean they are left hungry and without their basic needs met.

Today’s problem began fifteen years ago. In 1996, Congress restricted SSI to no more than seven years for elderly and disabled refugees, with the misconception that they should be able to naturalize within this time and thus, remain eligible for benefits. Importantly, in 2008, President Bush recognized the hardship this mandatory cut-off was having on vulnerable refugees and signed legislation to protect them — until September 30, 2011.

As direct service providers who work with refugee populations know all too well, seven years is not nearly enough time to learn English and gain citizenship, especially for a population that is elderly and who have disabilities that limit their learning ability. For those who have severe mental or physical disabilities, usually caused by the very situation they were forced to flee, and those who are often among the most elderly, the ability to learn a new language and memorize information for the naturalization test may take the rest of their lives.

Furthermore, some of these same vulnerable, disabled individuals may also face the loss of SSI due to errors or delays by either themselves, the government, or both while requesting asylum, permanent residency, and naturalization — a reality that any Congressional staffer who works with immigration applications will acknowledge. Refugee elders are often critical contributors to the livelihood of entire family units and communities.

For many elderly and disabled refugees, the cut off of SSI is severe and has a wide ranging impact on the well-being of their families. Our members of Congress must act to ensure that an extension on SSI is passed as soon as possible to prevent needless hardship for those most vulnerable among us.

In addition, the Minnesota delegation must also work in Congress to sever the link between naturalization and SSI for those who are elderly or disabled and to help us honor the commitment made to these internationally vulnerable neighbors.

Pham Thi Hoa is the executive director of CAPI, a community-based social justice organization and a direct implementer of anti-poverty programs to provide jobs, housing, food, health education, youth and senior social services in the Minneapolis area.

John Keller is executive director of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, whose mission is to provide quality immigration legal services, law-related education, and advocacy to meet the steadily increasing needs of Minnesota’s immigrant and refugee communities.

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2011 in Community news, Legislative, National news

 

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