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Archive for July 11th, 2014

Senator Kirk Requests Criminal Background Checks for Unaccompanied Minors

Posted by Admin On July - 11 - 2014 Comments Off on Senator Kirk Requests Criminal Background Checks for Unaccompanied Minors

429 Minors from Mexican Border Now in Illinois in HHS Custody


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) sent letters to the U.S. Ambassadors to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador asking whether or not their embassies have performed criminal background checks on the unaccompanied alien children (UAC) who have entered the United States.

Since October, more than 57,000 unaccompanied minors have been caught crossing the border through Mexico from Central American countries.

“I just learned that 429 unaccompanied minors from the Mexican border crisis are now in Chicago and currently in Health and Human Services custody, but our State Department is unable to confirm if any of these individuals has a criminal record or background,” Senator Kirk said. “If any of these individuals has a criminal record in their home country, our government owes it to the American people to facilitate a sharing of records and reassure our nation that these individuals pose no threat.”

A copy of the letter(s) is below:

July 10, 2014

The Honorable Mari Carmen Aponte
Embajada de Los Estados Unidos
Final Boulevard Santa Elena
Antiguo Cuscatlán, La Libertad

The Honorable Lisa Kubiske
Embajada de los Estados Unidos
Avenida La Paz
Apartado Postal No. 3453
Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Charisse Phillips
Chargé d’Affaires
Embajada de los Estados Unidos de America
Avenida Reforma 7-01, Zona 10
Guatemala Giudad, Guatemala

Dear (Ms. Phillips):

As a member on the Senate Appropriations Committee and the subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, I respectfully request that you provide information on whether your Embassy has performed any criminal background checks on the unaccompanied alien children (UAC) who are entering the United States in record numbers from (Guatemala).  The recent surge of UAC’s crossing the United States’ southern border is a humanitarian crisis, which also has the potential to present a serious threat to our country and communities should they have criminal records in their home country. While many of these children travel to the United States to escape dangerous and violent situations, I am concerned that among those admitted into the country and transferred to Health and Human Services (HHS) are individuals guilty of crimes in their home country.

Further, in the case thatbackground checks are not currently being conducted, I urge you to establish an agreement with the government of Guatemala and local law enforcement to facilitate in the sharing of criminal records pertaining to those illegally crossing our borders.

I look forward to your response and working with you on this important issue.

Sincerely,

President Obama’s Statement on Immigration, his Meeting With Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Local Officials, and Faith Leaders

Posted by Admin On July - 11 - 2014 Comments Off on President Obama’s Statement on Immigration, his Meeting With Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Local Officials, and Faith Leaders

Dallas Love Field
Dallas, Texas

President Barack Obama’s Statement

Hello, everybody.  I just had a good meeting with Governor Perry, local officials, and faith leaders to talk about the steps that we have taken and that we need to take to address the humanitarian situation on the border.  And I want to thank everybody who’s been involved for taking the time to talk to me.

It’s important to recognize two things.  First, the surge of unaccompanied children, and adults with children, are arriving at one sector of the border, and that’s the Rio Grande Valley.  Second, the issue is not that people are evading our enforcement officials.  The issue is that we’re apprehending them in large numbers.  And we’re working to make sure that we have sufficient facilities to detain, house, and process them appropriately, while attending to unaccompanied children with the care and compassion that they deserve while they’re in our custody.

While we intend to do the right thing by these children, their parents need to know that this is an incredibly dangerous situation and it is unlikely that their children will be able to stay.  And I’ve asked parents across Central America not to put their children in harm’s way in this fashion.

Right now, there are more Border Patrol agents and surveillance resources on the ground than at any time in our history.  And we deport almost 400,000 migrants each year.  But as soon as it became clear that this year’s migration to the border was different than in past years, I directed FEMA to coordinate our response at the border.  Members of my Cabinet and my staff have made multiple trips to facilities there.  And we’re also addressing the root of the problem.  I sent Vice President Biden and Secretary Kerry and Secretary Johnson to meet with Central American leaders, as well as working with our international partners to go after smugglers who are putting their kids’ lives at risk.

And earlier this week, Mexico announced a series of steps that they’re going to take on their southern border to help stem the tide of these unaccompanied children.

Last week, I sent a letter to Congress asking them to increase penalties on smugglers and to give us flexibility to move migrants through the system faster.

Yesterday, I asked Congress to fund these efforts.  About half of the resources would go to border security, enforcement, and expedited removal of people who don’t qualify for a humanitarian claim.  About half would go to make sure we’re treating children humanely.  We’d also make investments to further tackle the root problems in Central America.

So right now, Congress has the capacity to work with us, work with state officials, local officials, and faith-based groups and non-for-profits who are helping to care for these kids — Congress has the capacity to work with all parties concerned to directly address the situation.  They’ve said they want to see a solution.  The supplemental offers them the capacity to vote immediately to get it done.

Of course, in the long run, the best way to truly address this problem is for the House of Representatives to pass legislation fixing our broken immigration system, which, by the way, would include funding for additional thousands of Border Patrol agents — something that everybody down here that I’ve talked to indicates is a priority.

The Senate passed a common-sense, bipartisan bill more than a year ago.  It would have strengthened the border, added an additional 20,000 Border Patrol agents.  It would have strengthened our backlogged immigration courts.  It would have put us in a stronger position to deal with this surge and, in fact, prevent it.

So let me just close by indicating the nature of the conversation that I had with Governor Perry, which I thought was constructive.  Governor Perry suggested four specific areas of concern.  He was concerned about how many patrol agents were directly at the border.  He was concerned that some of the positioning of Border Patrol agents is too far from the border to be effective in deterring folks from coming in as opposed to simply apprehending them.  I indicated to him that what he said sounded like it made sense and that, in fact, if we pass the supplemental we would then have the resources to carry out some of the very things that he’s requesting.

On a broader policy level, he indicated concern that right now kids who come to the border from Mexico are immediately deported, but because it’s non-contiguous, folks who are coming from Central America have to go through a much lengthier process. I indicated to him that part of what we’re looking in the supplemental is some flexibility in terms of being able to preserve the due process rights of individuals who come in, but also to make sure that we’re sending a strong signal that they can’t simply show up at the border and automatically assume that they’re going to be absorbed.

He also expressed concerns about how the immigration judicial system works, how the administrative processing works, how long it takes and the fact that oftentimes people appear, are then essentially released with a court date that might be six months out or nine months, and a sizable number, not surprisingly, don’t show up.

I indicated to him that if we had more administrative judges, more administrative capacity, we can shrink those wait times.  This administrative practice predates my administration and, in fact, has been going on for quite some time, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that there’s not enough capacity, both in terms of detention facilities, but also in terms of judges, attorneys, space in order to process these things more quickly and expeditiously.

So the bottom line is, actually, that there’s nothing that the Governor indicated he’d like to see that I have a philosophical objection to.  I’ve asked Jeh Johnson to contact his head of Health and Human Services when he comes down for the sixth time at the end of this week to coordinate and make sure that some of the suggestions that the Governor has are technically feasible and what kind of resources might be needed. But what I emphasized to the Governor was the problem here is not a major disagreement around the actions that could be helpful in dealing with the problem.  The challenge is, is Congress prepared to act to put the resources in place to get this done.

Another way of putting it — and I said this directly to the Governor — is are folks more interested in politics, or are they more interested in solving the problem?  If they’re interested in solving the problem, then this can be solved.  If the preference is for politics, then it won’t be solved.

And I urged the Governor to talk to the Texas delegation, which is obviously at the heart of the Republican caucus both in the House and has great influence in the caucus in the Senate.  If the Texas delegation is in favor of this supplemental — which, by the way, does not include some things that I know many of them object to around dealing with undocumented workers who have been in this country for quite some time — this is just a very narrow issue, this supplemental, in terms of dealing with the particular problem we have right now — if the Texas delegation is prepared to move, this thing can get done next week.  And we can have more Border Patrol agents on the border, as the Governor has requested; we can shorten the timetables for processing these children or adults with children, as the Governor thinks is important; we can make sure that some of the public health issues that were raised in the meeting that I just had are addressed so that we’ve got enough folks vaccinating and checking on the health status of these children to make sure that not only are they safe, but also our communities are safe.

The things that the Governor thinks are important to do would be a lot easier to do if we had this supplemental.  It gives us the resources to do them.  And so, the only question at this point is why wouldn’t the Texas delegation or any of the other Republicans who are concerned about this not want to put this on a fast track and get this on my desk so I can sign it and we can start getting to work?

I suggested to the Governor he has, I suspect, some influence over the Texas delegation, and that might be helpful to call on them to pass this supplemental right away.

The final point I’ll make is I just want to thank some of the faith-based groups that I just met with, as well as mayors, commissioners, local officials.  Dallas has been incredibly compassionate in looking at some sights, some facilities in which they can accommodate some of these children.  And I indicated in hearing the stories of churches that are prepared to not just make donations but send volunteers to help construct some of these facilities or fix them up, and their willingness to volunteer in providing care and assistance to these children — I told them thank you, because it confirmed what I think we all know, which is the American people are an incredibly compassionate people and when we see a child in need we want to care for them.

But what I think we all agreed on is, is that the best thing that we can do is to make sure that the children are able to live in their own countries safely.  And that’s why it’s going to be important, even as we solve the short-term problem here, for us to be able to direct attention and resources and assistance — as we’re doing, but not at a sustained and high enough level — back in Honduras and Guatemala and El Salvador and other places, so that parents don’t think that somehow it’s safer for their children to send them thousands of miles just so that they don’t get harmed.

With that, I’ll take a couple of questions.  Yes, go ahead.

Q    There are increasing calls not just from Republicans, but also from some Democrats for you to visit the border during this trip.  Can you explain why you didn’t do that?  And do you see any legitimate reason for you to actually do that at some point, or do you think those calls are more about politics than anything else?

THE PRESIDENT:  Jeh Johnson has now visited, at my direction, the border five times.  He’s going for a sixth this week.  He then comes back and reports to me extensively on everything that’s taking place.  So there’s nothing that is taking place down there that I am not intimately aware of and briefed on.

This isn’t theater.  This is a problem.  I’m not interested in photo ops; I’m interested in solving a problem.  And those who say I should visit the border, when you ask them what should we be doing, they’re giving us suggestions that are embodied in legislation that I’ve already sent to Congress.  So it’s not as if they’re making suggestions that we’re not listening to.  In fact, the suggestions of those who work at the border, who visited the border, are incorporated in legislation that we’re already prepared to sign the minute it hits my desk.

There’s a very simple question here, and that is Congress just needs to pass the supplemental.  There is a larger issue that I recognize involves a lot of politics, which is why aren’t we passing comprehensive immigration reform, which would put an additional 20,000 Border Patrol agents and give us a lot of additional authorities to deal with some of these problems.  That should have been done a year ago; should have been done two years ago.  It’s gotten caught up in politics.  And I understand that.

One of the suggestions I had for Governor Perry was that it would be useful for my Republican friends to rediscover the concept of negotiation and compromise.  The Governor’s one concern that he mentioned to me was, is that setting aside the supplemental, I should go ahead and authorize having National Guard troops surge at the border right away.  And what I told him is we’re happy to consider how we could deploy National Guard down there, but that’s a temporary solution, that’s not a permanent solution.  And so why wouldn’t we go ahead and pass the permanent solution, or at least a longer-term solution?  And if the Texas delegation said, for us to pass the supplemental we want to include a commitment that you’re going to send some National Guard early, we’d be happy to consider it.

So this should not be hard to at least get the supplemental done.  The question is are we more interested in politics, or are we more interested in solving the problem?  If we’re interested in solving the problem, then there’s actually some broad consensus around a number of the issues.  There may be some controversies and differences between Democrats and Republicans on some of the policy issues, but on a whole bunch of this stuff, there’s some pretty broad consensus.  Let’s just get that done.  Let’s do the work.

Q    Mr. President, did the Governor give any indication that he would ask the Texas delegation to get behind the supplemental?  And it sounds like you are concerned that this supplemental will fall victim to partisan politics.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I think it’s fair to say that these days in Washington, everybody is always concerned about everything falling victim to partisan politics.  If I sponsored a bill declaring apple pie American, it might fall victim to partisan politics.  I get that.

On the other hand, this is an issue in which my Republican friends have said it’s urgent and we need to fix it.  And if that’s the case, then let’s go ahead and fix it.

As I indicated to Governor Perry — he suggested, well, maybe you just need to go ahead and act, and that might convince Republicans that they should go ahead and pass the supplemental. And I had to remind him I’m getting sued right now by Mr. Boehner, apparently, for going ahead and acting instead of going through Congress.  Well, here’s a good test case.

This is something you say is important, as I do.  This is an area that you have prioritized, as I have.  Don’t wait for me to take executive actions when you have the capacity right now to go ahead and get something done.  I will sign that bill tomorrow.  We’re going to go ahead and do what we can administratively, but this gives us the tools to do many of the very things that Republicans are seeking.

At the same time, I will just repeat that if we got a comprehensive bill done, it doesn’t just solve this problem for a year; it solves it potentially for 20 years.  And I would urge those who so far at least have failed to act on the comprehensive bill to take another look at it.

Q    It didn’t sound like he made any promises, though.

THE PRESIDENT:  I didn’t get any promises, but it was a constructive conversation.  And I just want to emphasize that I think that it was a good exchange of ideas.  And he did have some specific suggestions in terms of how we align border agents that I’ve asked Jeh Johnson to take a look at, because I think there may be ways in which we can use the resources that we already have more effectively than we’re currently doing.  And I think it is important that we make sure we’ve got a strong federal-state collaboration on the issue.

I’m going to take just two more questions, then I got to go. Go head.

Q    Mr. President, Governor Perry put out a statement shortly before you spoke, saying that he “pressed” — his verb — for you to secure the border.

THE PRESIDENT:  Yes.

Q    Does that statement in any way indicate that he’s interested in compromise?

THE PRESIDENT:  I’m interested in securing the border.  So as I explained, as far as I could tell, the only disagreement I had with Governor Perry was, is that he wanted me to go ahead and do it without Congress having to do anything.

We’ll do what we can administratively.  I think the useful question not simply for the Governor, but for John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, and the other members of the Texas delegation is why wouldn’t you go ahead and pass a bill to give us additional resources to solve the very problem that you say is urgent?

Jackie.

Q    Mr. President, there’s been a number of Republicans who have said that DACA, the deferred action executive order from 2012 that you signed, is to blame, that it was an invitation —

THE PRESIDENT:  Right.

Q    — that other children are now taking up on.  What do you say to that?

THE PRESIDENT:  If you look at the pattern of immigration into our country, we are at actually a significantly lower level in terms of overall immigration flow — illegal immigration flow than we were when I took office.

I think that the challenge we have that has really caused a spike is the significant security challenges in these Central American countries themselves and the fact that you’ve got smugglers who are increasingly recognizing that they can make money by transporting these folks, often in very dangerous circumstances, to the border, and taking advantage of the compassion of the American people — recognizing that we’re not going to simply leave abandoned children who are left at our doorstep, but that we’ve got to care for them and provide them some basic safety and security while we determine where we can send them.

But I think one of the most important things that we’re going to have to recognize — this is not going to be a short-term problem.  This is a long-term problem.  We have countries that are pretty close to us in which the life chances of children are just far, far worse than they are here.  And parents who are frightened or are misinformed about what’s possible are willing to take extraordinary risks on behalf of their kids.  The more that we can do to help these countries get their acts together, then the less likely we are to have a problem at the borders.

And the fact of the matter is, is that DACA and comprehensive immigration reform generally would allow us to reallocate resources precisely because all the budget of DHS — instead of us chasing after families that may have been living here for five or 10 years and have kids who are U.S. citizens and are law-abiding, save for the fact that they didn’t come here legally — if they have to earn citizenship, paying taxes, learning English, paying a fine, going to the back of the line, but they are no longer a enforcement priority, that suddenly frees up a huge amount of resources to do exactly the kinds of things that many Republicans have been calling for us to do and that we’ve tried to within the resource limitations that we have.

All right?  Thank you, everybody.  Appreciate it.

Prosecutors Secure 30 Year Sentence for Cicero Man

Posted by Admin On July - 11 - 2014 Comments Off on Prosecutors Secure 30 Year Sentence for Cicero Man

A Cicero man pled guilty to the 2010 murder of his three-week old daughter and for trying to find someone to kill his girlfriend’s family members, who he believed were trying to turn her against him, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Jorge Galvez, 24, pled guilty to the Murder of Lilliana Galvez yesterday, July 9, during a hearing at the Maywood Courthouse, before Cook County Judge Noreen Love, who sentenced Galvez to a 20 year prison sentence.  In a separate, related case, Galvez pled guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Murder today during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building where Cook County Judge Domenica Stephenson sentenced him to 10 years, to run consecutive, for a total of 30 years in prison.

According to prosecutors, on March 19, 2010, Galvez and his girlfriend were at home with their baby, who was three weeks old. The baby, Liliana Galvez, went to sleep around 11:30pm on the evening of March 19th. When she awoke crying in the early morning hours of March 20, the baby’s mother left her with Galvez while she prepared a bottle. Galvez became angry that the baby continued to cry and dropped her onto the floor.  Galvez then picked up the baby and threw her into her crib. The baby’s head struck the crib, and she became unresponsive. Galvez and his girlfriend left the baby in the crib and went to sleep, waking up approximately nine hours later and then called 911. Galvez and his girlfriend initially told police that the baby was fine when she went to sleep but that the baby was dead when they woke up that day. Galvez subsequently gave a videotaped statement admitting to throwing the baby and stating repeatedly that he did not mean to kill her.  Galvez was arrested by Cicero Police and held in the Cook County Jail after being denied bond.

According to prosecutors, while in the Cook County Jail awaiting trial for Lilliana’s murder, a law enforcement investigation revealed that Galvez wanted to hire someone to kill some of his girlfriend’s relatives who he believed were trying to turn her against him.  On July 15, 2010, Galvez was charged with Conspiracy to Commit Murder.

State’s Attorney Alvarez thanked Assistant State’s Attorneys Jennifer Hanus, Maureen Renno, Matthew Thrun and Daniel Weiss as well as the Cicero Police Department and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office for their work on these cases.

Demand Justice for Grandmother Beaten by California Police – Take Action, Sign the Petition

Posted by Admin On July - 11 - 2014 Comments Off on Demand Justice for Grandmother Beaten by California Police – Take Action, Sign the Petition
Care2 Petitionsite Action Alert

action alert!

In Southern California, a police officer was caught on camera tackling a woman and beating her into the ground. We cannot tolerate this blatant abuse of authority by those supposed to uphold the law.
Please sign the petition today! Demand Justice for Grandmother Beaten by Police!

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Marlene Pinnock, a 51-year-old grandmother in Southern California, was certainly behaving strangely. Barefoot and alone on the highway, she wandered in and out of lanes, clearly confused. Marlene may have needed help. Instead, a California Highway Patrol officer tackled her to the ground before punching her nine or ten times in the head.

The officer, whose attack was captured on camera, chased Marlene down, hitting her more than half a dozen times in the head before another officer came to help restrain her. The officer later claimed that Pinnock had become “combative.” Marlene was then arrested and put on a “mental health hold” for 72 hours.

Marlene was in a state of confusion and shock, and may have been ill. Even if she had been “combative,” it is highly unlikely that she would have been able to pose any serious danger to the officer. She was probably scared and in pain. But rather than come to her aid as someone who’s supposed to “serve and protect,” the CHP officer brutally beat her.

We have to stand up to demonstrate that this abuse of authority won’t go unpunished. Demand a full investigation into the incident and punishment for the police officer who violently assaulted a California grandmother.

Kathleen
Thank you for taking action,

Kathleen J.
Care2 and ThePetitionSite

Tow Truck Scams That May Hook Your Vacation Trip, Says Better Business Bureau

Posted by Admin On July - 11 - 2014 Comments Off on Tow Truck Scams That May Hook Your Vacation Trip, Says Better Business Bureau

CHICAGO, IL – Motorists traveling this summer face the possibility of a break down or an accident. They also face the possibility of being scammed by a “tow truck bandit”. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) says looking for red flags can keep you out of trouble.

It is difficult to be patient when looking for help after an accident or break down. There are dishonest towing operators, aka bandit tow trucks, which use drivers in need of help to benefit their wallets. The tow truck drivers offer people help with their car but then end up charging hefty fees for their services. Taking the time to find a legitimate tow truck business is worth the wait.

“In too many businesses, there are dishonest operations that take advantage of consumers in stressful situations, ” said Steve Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Ensure that the business is legitimate and read the fine print before making any decision.”

The BBB offers the following tips to avoid tow truck scams:

  • Be wary of unsolicited help. Don’t deal with tow truck operators who arrive on the scene unannounced. Don’t allow the operator to take your vehicle until you are given a printed invoice. This should include a listing of towing and daily storage fees.
  • Use the police as a resource. If there is a crash, call the police, and only accept help from tow trucks that are contacted by the police. If the police get a truck to tow your vehicle, don’t sign any additional paperwork from the company, as this could allow the company to add extra fees.
  • Know the cost. Ask upfront what the tow will cost and get pricing in writing.
  • Use the vehicle’s Assist call button. Many newer cars are equipped with an emergency call button that quickly connects you with a call center that can dispatch pre-approved service assistance.
  • Don’t give out personal information. It is dangerous to provide insurance information to tow truck companies, since bandit tow truck operators could use this information for scams.
  • Choose where your car gets towed. Have your car towed to your home or at a repair shop of your choice. This prevents additional fees. Some scam artists take cars to an impound lot instead of a repair shop, which can result in extra storage fees.
  • Use your smartphone. Go to bbb.org to find an accredited towing company that you can trust.

For more information, visit bbb.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

National Urban League’s Reponse to House of Representatives Passage of Bi-Partisan Workforce Bill Including Crucial Components of Urban Jobs Act

Posted by Admin On July - 11 - 2014 Comments Off on National Urban League’s Reponse to House of Representatives Passage of Bi-Partisan Workforce Bill Including Crucial Components of Urban Jobs Act

National Urban League Statement on Passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

National Urban League President and CEO, Marc H. Morial, issued the following statement on the passage in the House of Representatives the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the pre-eminent job training legislation, by an overwhelming vote of 415 to 6.

“With the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) by the House of Representatives, millions of unemployed and under-employed workers and urban youth and youth of color can now receive the job and skills training and support services they need to chart a path to a better future.

“The decade-plus wait for congressional renewal of the nation’s preeminent job training legislation was a long time coming, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Chaka Fattah are to be commended for their tenacity, commitment and leadership in creating a bi-partisan bill, which incorporates crucial components of the Urban Jobs Act, that will create a better life for urban youth and youth of color, and shepherding it through to passage.”

Click here to read the full article on the National Urban League Washington Bureau website.

Illinois State Board of Education Announces Child and Adult Care Food Program

Posted by Admin On July - 11 - 2014 Comments Off on Illinois State Board of Education Announces Child and Adult Care Food Program

SPRINGFIELD, IL — The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced the availability of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The CACFP is a federally-funded program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that is administered by ISBE.

“ISBE is very proud to help administer this federal program once again,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A Koch. “As many studies show, proper nutrition is essential for children so they can be ready to learn. A healthy start will lead them to success in school so they can be prepared for success in college and careers.”

The program is designed to primarily assist child care centers, Head Start programs, before- and after-school programs, emergency shelters, and day care home providers with funding to provide nutritious meals to children in their care. All participating child care centers and day care homes must provide meals to enrolled children at no additional charge.

Income Eligibility Guidelines: Effective from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015

Free Meals

130% Federal Poverty Guideline

Reduced-Price Meals

185% Federal Poverty Guideline

Household
Size

Size

Annual Monthly Twice Per Month

Month

Every Two Weeks

Weeks

Weekly Household Size

Size

Annual Monthly Twice Per Month

Month

Every Two Weeks

Weeks

Weekly
1 15,171 1,265 633 584 292 1 21,590 1,800 900 831 416
2 20,449 1,705 853 787 394 2 29,101 2,426 1,213 1,120 560
3 25,727 2,144 1,072 990 495 3 36,612 3,051 1,526 1,409 705
4 31,005 2,584 1,292 1,193 597 4 44,123 3,677 1,839 1,698 849
5 36,283

3,024

1,512 1,396 698 5 51,634 4,303 2,152 1,986 993
6 41,561 3,464 1,732 1,599 800 6 59,145 4,929 2,465 2,275 1,138
7 46,839

3,904

1,952 1,802 901 7 66,656 5,555 2,778 2,564 1,282
8 52,117 4,344 2,172 2,005 1003 8 74,167 6,181 3,091 2,853 1,427
For each additional family
member, add
5,278 440 220 203 102 For each additional family member, add 7,511 626 313 289 145

Individuals in households that receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are automatically eligible to receive free meal benefits. Children enrolled in Head Start or Early Head Start programs, or foster care children that are legal responsibilities of the State or court, are also allowed to receive free meal benefits at approved Head Start facilities. Parents or guardians should contact their child care center or day care home provider to find out if they participate in this program. A list of participating Illinois institutions is available on the ISBE Nutrition Programs Interactive Map at http://webprod1.isbe.net/NutSvc/.

The USDA Household Income Eligibility Guidelines are listed for families who do not receive TANF or SNAP benefits. If a household’s income falls within or below the listed guidelines, they should contact their child care center or day care home provider for the benefits of the program. They may be required to complete an application and provide income, TANF, or SNAP information.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.) To file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov.

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). For any other information dealing with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) issues, persons should either contact the USDA SNAP Hotline Number at (800) 221-5689, which is also in Spanish, or call the State Information/Hotline Numbers. Go to http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/contact_info/hotlines.htm for a listing of hotline numbers by state). The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Governor Quinn Names Rodrigo Garcia Acting Veterans’ Affairs Secretary

Posted by Admin On July - 11 - 2014 Comments Off on Governor Quinn Names Rodrigo Garcia Acting Veterans’ Affairs Secretary

U.S. Marine Corps veteran is first Latino to lead IDVA


CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has appointed Rodrigo Garcia as Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA), replacing Erica Borggren, who will head the Illinois Department of Transportation as Acting Secretary, effective July 10, 2014.

Garcia has served as Assistant Director since 2011, where he has presided as second-in-command of IDVA, an agency with more than 1,300 staff members, a $148 million budget, 80 statewide offices and numerous specialty programs dedicated to serving Illinois’ 744,000 veterans.

“Rodrigo Garcia is battle-tested, as a Marine as well as IDVA’s Assistant Director,” Governor Quinn said. “He understands first-hand what our veterans and military families go through, and he has the leadership and administrative abilities to ensure that Illinois does all it can for our heroes.”

Pending Illinois Senate confirmation, Garcia will be the first Latino to run the agency since its founding shortly after WWII.

“I am sincerely appreciative of the confidence Governor Quinn has placed in me to take the reins at IDVA and continue providing the very best service to our veterans and their families,” Acting Director Garcia said. “I look forward to the challenges ahead knowing Erica Borggren has represented and supported our veterans to very high standards.  I know the IDVA team wishes her well with her efforts at IDOT – they are getting a great leader.”

The son of immigrant parents, Garcia hails from the historic Little Village neighborhood on Chicago’s south side.  After graduating from John F. Kennedy High School, Garcia joined the U.S. Marine Corps, serving three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning multiple decorations. After his return to Illinois, he became a staunch advocate for student veterans, founding the Student Veterans Club at Northeastern Illinois University and rising to the pinnacle leadership position at Student Veterans of America (SVA). Garcia was a member of the Illinois Veterans Advisory Council from 2010-2011 and was recognized as the Illinois Veteran of the Month for September 2010 prior to joining IDVA.

At IDVA, Garcia’s leadership and team-building have resulted in expanded employment opportunities for veterans, additional procurement opportunities for veteran-owned businesses, the design of the Chicago Veterans’ Home, and in-state tuition and priority registration for student veterans. He also serves as the Chair of the Board of Appeals and the Chair of the Illinois Discharged Servicemember Task Force.

Outside IDVA, Garcia is National Chairman of the Board of Directors for Student Veterans of America (SVA) and National Hispanic Life Sciences Society (NHLSS), and Board Vice President for Teatro Vista Theatre Company. Garcia has also been named one of the “Top 100 under 50” Executive Leaders by Diversity MBA Magazine and as one of Miller Coors’ nationwide “Hispanic Lideres”, was the recipient of President Obama’s Council on Service and Civic Participation “Call to Service Award” and was recognized as a “Rising Star” by the National Society of Hispanic MBA’s and a “Club Leader of the Future” by Latino Lideres Magazine, amongst other recognitions.

Garcia holds an undergraduate degree in finance from Northeastern Illinois University and two post-graduate degrees, one in business administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago and the other in public policy from Northwestern University. Recently, he also completed a senior executives program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Kirk, Rubio Crack Down on Iranian Human Rights Abusers

Posted by Admin On July - 11 - 2014 Comments Off on Kirk, Rubio Crack Down on Iranian Human Rights Abusers

Iranian Regime Has “Abysmal” Record on Human Rights
More Than 800 Political Prisoners Currently Imprisoned in Iran

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)  introduced The Iran Human Rights Accountability Act, which cracks down on Iranian human rights abusers and supports the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people.

Five years ago, thousands of Iranians took to the streets to protest the fraudulent re-election of then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They were met by bullets and batons, and very few have been held accountable for these human rights abuses used to quash the Green Movement’s efforts to peacefully hold their government accountable. Further, under President Hassan Rouhani, we have seen a systemic crackdown on Iranian citizens – experts estimate that there are around 800 political prisoners, including American citizens, Pastor Saeed Abedini, Robert Levinson and Amir Hekmati.

Since Rouhani has taken office, the U.S. has sanctioned only one Iranian official for human rights violations. Yet, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini, President Rouhani and other government officials are directly responsible for and complicit in ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing the commission of serious human rights abuses against the people of Iran.

“While we continue to focus on disarming Iran’s dangerous nuclear program, we cannot forget that Iran is a state-sponsor of terrorism that persecutes their own citizens,” Senator Kirk said. “It’s time to hold Iranian officials accountable for their blatant violation of basic human rights.”

“The U.S. should strongly support the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people, and stand against ongoing systemic human rights violations by the Iranian regime. Just as we cannot stand by as the Iranian regime deceives the world in pursuit of a nuclear weapon, we cannot let Iran’s human rights record, which even the Obama administration has stated is ‘abysmal,’ go unpunished,” Senator Rubio said. “This legislation would take significant steps to require President Obama to hold Iranian leaders and individuals accountable for all human rights violations they have directed or participated in since the 2009 Green Movement protests.”

Specifically, this legislation would:

Hold Human Rights Abusers Accountable

  • Designate Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini, President Rouhani, and other top Iranian leaders as human rights violators, which includes visa bans and asset freezes.
  • Expand sanctions to include all those involved in human rights abuses against the Iranian people, not just the leaders.
  • Impose new sanctions on individuals who do business with already sanctioned human rights violators.

Support the Democratic Aspirations of the Iranian People

  • Establish a “Special Coordinator on Human Rights and Democracy in Iran,” to oversee outreach and assistance programs related to human rights in Iran.
  • Authorize no less than $32 million for democracy promotion programs in Iran to be managed and implemented by the Special Coordinator.
  • Expand international broadcasting into Iran by authorizing up to $10 million for increased programming.

30-Day Challenge Brings New Hope to Single Women Looking for Love – New 5-Part Audio Series Available for Download

Posted by Admin On July - 11 - 2014 Comments Off on 30-Day Challenge Brings New Hope to Single Women Looking for Love – New 5-Part Audio Series Available for Download

Approximately 65% of all African American women over the age of 25 in the United States are single but many want to be in a loving and well matched marriage. Author and motivational speaker Toni King presents women with a 30 day challenge to connect and fall in love – without settling for less!


30 Day Challenge For Single Women

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — While committing to marriage is something that should be approached with patience and care, far too many intelligent, accomplished, and savvy African American women cannot find the compatibility they desire and deserve. So much so that approximately 65% of African American women over the age of 25 are single and looking for a well matched marriage.Author and motivational speaker Toni King, comments, Generally speaking, marriage has declined across all ethnicities but African American women bear the brunt of the current marriage crisis.

It is for this reason that King has created a 30 day challenge for women that is shared in her new 5-part audio series and calendar called The 30 Day Challenge to Connect and Fall in Love with the Man of Your Dreams. Many women want to be in love, but few realize that being in love has already been provided, Toni stresses. Women tell me after they take the 30 Day Challenge: ‘You nailed it! My knower has finally been turned on and I feel special!’ The challenge is based upon Solomons Song of Songs.

Originally King shared her 30 Day Challenge exclusively in her live seminars – but due to its increasing popularity has complied her techniques and lesson plan into a Series and Love calendar that can be accessed by women around the nation through Amazon.com and the website, www.30days2love.com.

Kings goal is to inspire all women, particularly women of color. By inspiring women to approach love in a whole new way and to positively engage in ways to open the door of activation and expectation. The 30 Day Challenge system is already positively impacting the family structure within the African American community. King was quoted as saying, What most women do not realized is that there are things that she has within her own power to change her final outcome and I take her to the place she didnt know she had. No woman has to accept those statistics; there is so much more that awaits her that will change her outcome if she will be courageous.

The 30 Day Challenge includes 5 sessions that women must complete before beginning the 30 day calendar and are encourage not to cheat themselves by looking ahead. The teaching sessions positions and frees the heart, mind and body for spiritual intimacy and natural love. Then the 30 day calendar will lead each participant on her own individual love journey; a recipe for a relationship that endures. The series provides emotional renewal and helps strengthen women in ways not previously offered by other forms of entertainment or ministry.

It simply works, stated Marybeth a 30 Day Challenge user.

Although King cites there is no panacea for the marriage crisis problem, the 30 Day Challenge is an interactive system that individually aids and supports women with the removal of emotional baggage and fears that too often block the path to well matched intimacy and love.
About The Author
Toni King has played a major role in the advancement of inner healing through the “Body of Christ” for women. She is the founder and director of Healing Fire Ministries LLC and her Ministerial credentials extend more than 25 years. She has managed radio stations with a major focus on community and family and has functioned in many capacities including: pastor, evangelist, counselor and conference speaker.
About The Audio Series and Calendar:
The 30 Day Challenge to Connect and Fall in Love with the Man of Your Dreams By Toni King
Sale Price: $29.99
Available on www.Amazon.com (as a hard copy audio CD) and www.30days2love.com (as a downloadable MP4 file)

Photo Caption: 5-part audio series and calendar

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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