Blog Posts

The Redistricting Process Begins

Across the country, officials have begun to meet to begin the redistricting process. Redistricting happens every ten years to make sure political boundaries align with population trends found in each new national census that took place the previous year. Because of Florida’s population growth in the last ten years, the…

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Empieza la redistribución de distritos electorales

Oficiales por todo el país se están reuniendo para comenzar el proceso de redistribución de distritos electorales. Este ocurre cada diez años para asegurar que estos districtos se alinien con los cambios de población encontrados en cada nuevo censo nacional que ocurrió el año anterior. Debido al crecimiento de la…

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Help Dreamers find a permanent fix to DACA

Earlier this year a federal judge suspended new DACA applications for Dreamers. The Biden administration is now attempting to revive the DACA program. While the program would offer some relief to Dreamers through DACA, it still does NOT offer Dreamers a path toward citizenship. So, in addition to supporting the…

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Rule proposed to protect DACA Dreamers long-term

This week, the Biden administration proposed a rule that attempts to satisfy concerns of a federal judge in Houston who ruled in July that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was illegal, largely because the Obama administration bypassed procedural requirements when it took effect in 2012. The new…

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Florida to apply for $820 million in food aid

Florida announced this week it would tap into $820 million in federal food aid money for children in low-income households. That means parents of up to 2.1 million children could receive $375 to pay for food for each child over the summer. Florida was the only state not applying for…

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Automatic extension of TPS-related documentation for 6 countries

The Department of Homeland Security is automatically extending the validity of TPS-related documentation for beneficiaries under the TPS designations for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua & Sudan for 15 months through Dec. 31, 2022, from the current expiration date of Oct. 4, 2021. If current TPS holders continue to meet all the individual requirements for…

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SNAP Gets Largest Single Increase Ever

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a re-evaluation of the Thrifty Food Plan, which is used to calculate Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits based on changes to nutritional guidance, food prices and what Americans eat. With these updates, Florida is expected to see an increase of over $1 Billion…

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House passes pathway to citizenship for ‘Dreamers’

The American Dream and Promise Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for young undocumented migrants known as “Dreamers” and other people living in the country with temporary protected status, passed in a 228-197 vote. The House also passed The Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which could create a system…

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DHS Withdraws Affidavit of Support Proposed Rule

On March 19, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced withdrawal of a proposed rule, Affidavit of Support on Behalf of Immigrants. By taking these steps, DHS aims to reduce barriers and alleviate burdens on American families who wish to sponsor individuals immigrating to the U.S. within the legal immigration system. On Feb. 2, 2021, President…

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U.S. Department of Homeland Security: Secretary Mayorkas Designates Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status for 18 Months

WASHINGTON—Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas is designating Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, until September 2022. This new designation of TPS for Venezuela enables Venezuelan nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Venezuela) currently residing in the United States to file initial applications…

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USCIS Reverts to the 2008 Version of the Naturalization Civics Test

USCIS announces plans to revert to the 2008 version of the Naturalization Civics test. — USCIS anuncia planes para volver a la versión del 2008 del examen de Educación Cívica para Naturalización. https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-reverts-to-the-2008-version-of-the-naturalization-civics-test#:~:text=The%202020%20test%20will%20be,Center%20on%20the%20USCIS%20website

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Florida Medicaid Expansion 101

In Florida, the most a family of 3 can make in a year and still qualify for Medicaid is approximately $8,000. Currently, even during the Covid-19 pandemic, there is no help for adults with no children. Watch this video to learn about how Medicaid expansion would help more Florida families…

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Information for parents of English Learners

Información para padres de estudiantes de inglés El Departamento de Educación de la Florida extendió el periodo para tomar la prueba ACCESS hasta el 28 de mayo de 2021. Recomienda a todos los estudiantes ESOL a tomar esta prueba e indica que “independientemente de ello, la decisión final de participar…

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Public Charge: New Barrier for Legal Immigrants

For Immediate Release: Contact: Josie Bacallao Hispanic Unity of Florida jbacallao@hispanicunity.org 954-683-2028 (Mobile) 954-342-0298 (Direct Line) Public Charge: Legal Immigrants’ Latest Barrier to Path to Citizenship Ft. Lauderdale—August 15, 2019 – Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the final “public charge” rule that will take effect in…

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Public Charge/ Carga Pública: DHS Announcement

Today, DHS announced the updated “Public Charge” Rule effective October 15, 2019. Below is their official announcement. Hoy DHS anuncio la nueva regla final de “Carga Publica” que va ser efectiva 15 de octobre 2019. Continue para leer mas detalles.  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship…

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Meet Lesbia

Thanks to @Citi Foundation #ProgressMakers, Lesbia makes her career dream a reality! When Lesbia was very young, her parents made a difficult decision. They wanted a better future for their family, so they moved from Central America to the U.S. to find it. During that period, her parents were back…

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Meet Marisol

Thanks to @Citi Foundation #ProgressMakers, Marisol makes her dream a reality! From Boston, to Puerto Rico, to Miami, Marisol has been following her American dream since birth. Born in Boston, she spent several years in the historic city before her family relocated to Puerto Rico, where she grew up and…

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The Immigrant Workforce

The Urban Institute recently released a research report titled Upskilling the Immigrant Workforce to Meet Employer Demand for Skilled Workers. The report – and its two page factsheet – provide guidance for policy makers, workforce organizations – both public and private – employers and funders (such as the ones that…

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Office of New Americans of Miami-Dade County Partners with Hispanic Unity of Florida to Launch FREE Citizenship Classes at Libraries throughout Miami-Dade County

The Office of New Americans of Miami-Dade County (ONA), established to promote naturalization campaigns and citizenship events, recently partnered with Hispanic Unity of Florida (HUF) to launch the Pathways to Citizenship program aimed at helping eligible permanent residents in Miami-Dade become U.S. citizens. HUF, a non-profit established in 1982, has…

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Unified Voices at HUF #RiseAbove

For the past 35 years, HUF has assisted individuals seeking freedom and opportunity on their journey to their American dream. While working on our mission of Empowering a New Generation of Americans, we have always been committed to diversity, cultural awareness and non-discrimination, as noted by our values.  We made…

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35 Years of Impact: The Power of Community

The Community Unites to Make Life Comfortable for Grandma, Charnecia, and Marqis Watch the video! Earlier this year at HUF… Together, Grandma Gwendolyn, Charnecia and Marqis are a close-knit family. Gwendolyn has long since cared for the children as her own. But recently, hardship struck the household. The lease on the family’s…

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Bank Executive: Why he supports “Dreamers”

Guest Columnist Luis G. Lobo is an executive in the banking industry. Children are not held responsible for the actions of their parents. In a free society, we long ago established that the actions of parents were not held against their children. Debtor courts may move against the assets of the parents,…

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Dreamers: They are America’s Children

This is the only country most have ever known. They speak English, and it’s often their main language. They have one of the highest college completion rates – 85% – according to a recent study. They serve in the armed forces or students. They are lawyers, nurses, teachers and small…

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Why advocate?  And how to get started.

One of my favorite books on not-for-profit management is called Forces for Good by   Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant. The authors posit that there are six practices that define high-impact independent sector organizations. The first best practice on their list is this: Work with government and advocate for…

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The Broward County Bar Association recognizes Josie Bacallao, HUF’s President & CEO with the Liberty Bell Award

Joining Josie for the luncheon were former and current HUF Board Members. L-R (Back) Christina Paradowski, Board Member; Willy Gomez, Board Chair; Nydia Menendez, Board Member Emeritus; Chuck Tatelbaum, Chair-Elect; (front) Josie Bacallao, CEO; Maria Elena Ferrer, Board Member Emeritus; Catalina Avalos, HUF Attorney (Tripp Scott) and former Board Member;…

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THE STORY OF HUF’s BEGINNING (Part 2)

by Maria Sanjuan – Part 2 (Conclusion) Click here to read PART 1 of this story. “As HUF began to expand, it became clear that we needed a larger space. With much convincing, the City of Hollywood Commissioners agreed to help us purchase our very first building – an old…

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MEMORIES of FLORIDA

Eugenio R. Torres, Founder of Hispanic Unity Disclaimer: Excerpt from a more detailed writing of Eugenio’s life. Translated and edited at HUF in 2017. Contributing Editor: Ashley Collier – HUF volunteer. “One day, upon my arrival in Broward County, I felt very lonely, and so did many other people. It…

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Thank you & Farewell Dream-Makers

Imagine a workplace where you are offered a smile when you enter, no matter what is going on. Where teamwork and “selflessness” are not mere words. Hispanic Unity is such a place. It’s an organization with team members who join us because they share our values and believe in our…

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Earn It. Keep It. Grow It.

This is Part 2 of two-part blog on Financial Health in honor of Financial Literacy Month. Ideally, by now you have given your financial goals a little thought (see previous blog post). You may have had some quiet time with yourself; you may have discussed it with your family or…

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Keys to Financial Stability

How do you define being ‘financially ahead’? We believe that knowing where you want to end up on your financial journey is a step you cannot skip. Here’s some old wisdom:  if you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there. And it’s a conversation most…

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All Eyes on the Supreme Court

On April 18th, eight members of the Supreme Court heard 90 minutes of oral arguments on what is known as DACA and DAPA. The White House’s representatives argued in favor of expanding an already existing program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) which gives temporary relief to immigrants who came…

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Fox Executive teaching English

Last year we received an email from someone who was moving to Fort Lauderdale and wanted to volunteer. Thus begun our friendship with Dermot McQuarrie, a former Fox Sports executive (Executive Producer of Fox Sports Americas and General Manager for the Fox Soccer Channel.) He now runs his consultancy company…

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“We should be so thankful that they’re here”

“We should be so thankful that they’re here,” demographer William Frey says of immigrants boosting the USA’s diversity.  Mr Frey is a Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program and the recent author of the book called: Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics are Remaking America And the “they” Mr. Frey is referring to are immigrants.…

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Tax Credits Lift Families out of Poverty

Just in one year, Broward County’s working families received up to $514,000 in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC). In 2013, these credits lifted more than 9.4 million people – including 5 million children – out of poverty. Every year, a group of funders and community nonprofit organizations work hard to ensure…

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What Can Latinos Learn From Israeli Innovators? 

November 18, 2014 is National Entrepreneur Day. In honor of this day, we bring you the guest column below. Thank you to Guest Columnist Arminda “Mindy” Figueroa, Chief Marketing Connector (and CEO) of Latin2Latin Marketing + Communications, LLC  What Can Latinos Learn From Israeli Innovators?  That is the question that came up…

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Why are 764,000 Floridians uninsured?

Health, love, money and time to enjoy it all. It’s one of my favorite Spanish toasts.  And, when I am feeling philosophical, I think of it as a great plan on how to live your life. When we are healthy, all is possible. We can embrace the love of our family…

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Why are we writing a blog?

One of my favorite authors Thich Nhat Hanh wrote (I paraphrase here) that understanding and compassion open the door to communication. I want to open the door. My overriding desire in writing this blog – and making it available to others to opine – is to increase our understanding of one another,…

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