New Americans – Crystal Muñoz

New Americans

Crystal Muñoz, GALEO Student Intern

Walking up to the building one can already feel the nervousness and excitement in the air. Some people came with families, others alone, all waking up early to experience a once in a lifetime moment. They worked hard, studied all the questions, forward and back, and now all that time and dedication will pay off in huge ways. Becoming a United States citizen comes with great benefits, but it also comes with unforeseen responsibilities, such as civic engagement. One of the biggest responsibilities as a citizen is that of voting. As a citizen of the United States your opinions and ideas matter and it is your right as a citizen to go out on Election Day and make your voice heard.

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DACA Student Spends Fall Semester Abroad

By John Newton, La Voz Latina, Savannah, Ga.

President Obama’s deferred action (DACA) program for undocumented students celebrated its two-year anniversary last month and, owing to its controversial nature, still makes headlines on a regular basis. Republicans in the US Congress have vowed to end the program if they succeed in regaining control of the US Senate in November.

Under DACA guidelines, many young immigrants who were raised in the US and educated in public schools can qualify for a temporary but renewable two-year adjustment to their legal status, obtain a valid work permit, a social security number, and a drivers license (in most states).

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From G.E.D. Graduate to Aerospace Engineer

By John Newton, La Voz Latina, Savannah, Ga.

Carlos Sanchez moved to Statesboro, Georgia from Mexico as a teenager in 2003. Like many immigrants he had big dreams, all of them dependent on getting a good education. That part of his story may sound typical but how Carlos is making those dreams into a reality is not.

Undocumented, Carlos lived with an uncle and enrolled in a local high school for one semester before dropping out. He found steady work picking tobacco leaves in the morning, then waiting tables in a local restaurant in the evening. But Carlos wanted more from life so he moved to Tifton, Georgia and enrolled in the migrant-worker G.E.D. program at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC).

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A Plea for Fairness

By John Newton, La Voz Latina, Savannah, Ga.

The human brain is hard-wired for fairness.

Behavioral scientists have demonstrated conclusively that even very young children react strongly when their elemental sense of fair play is violated.

This is why violent protests have rocked the streets of Ferguson, Missouri.

In a city where nearly 70% of the population is African-American, only three members of the 53-officer police department are black. To be sure, the lawless actions of some Ferguson protestors have tainted their message but, regardless of whether or not the ongoing investigation ultimately justifies the actions of the police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teen, a substantial majority of black citizens in the US today feel they are not treated fairly by our country’s criminal justice system.

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GALEO Featured in NY Times Article


LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — A gated community of regal brick homes with impeccable landscaping and $450,000 price tags might seem an unlikely place for a voter-registration drive. The neighborhood, with its swimming pool and tennis courts, evokes stability and a sense of having arrived.

But when Maria Palacios, 24, a part-time canvasser for a Latino rights advocacy group, knocked on doors on a sweltering summer afternoon, she was greeted by those who had never cast ballots, immigrants like herself — newcomers from Korea, Vietnam, India, Pakistan and Mexico, all faces of a changing Georgia.

“There are a lot of people here from Mexico like us,” said Hector Velazco, an information technology consultant, telling Ms. Palacios that he and his wife are awaiting naturalization so they can vote. “It’s not only workers to mow the grass.”

This is the new Georgia, a state whose transformed economy has spawned a population boom and demographic shifts that are slowly altering its politics. With African-Americans coming in large numbers from other states, and emerging immigrant communities like this one in Lawrenceville, Georgia is less white and less rural than it was a decade ago.

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GALEO Applauds Mayor Kasim Reed & City of Atlanta for Welcoming Atlanta Efforts

GALEO Applauds Mayor Kasim Reed & City of Atlanta for Welcoming Atlanta Efforts
Jerry Gonzalez, GALEO Executive Director, welcomes the opportunity to continue to serve as part of the Advisory Committee

Press Statement


Media Contact: Jerry González, GALEO Executive Director Tel.: (404) 745-2580 / Email:


September 17, 2014 (ATLANTA, GA)- Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of GALEO, released the following statement today in response to Mayor Kasim Reed & the City of Atlanta’s announcement of implementation of the Welcoming Atlanta’s Working Group recommendations.


“GALEO applauds the Mayor of Atlanta’s leadership and vision to make the City of Atlanta an international destination and place to call home for New Americans. With the implementation of 20 of the recommendations developed by the Welcoming Atlanta Working Group, it demonstrates a strong commitment to make Atlanta more diverse, more competitive and a great place to live for all residents.

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Mayor Kasim Reed Announces Results of Welcoming Atlanta Working Group

Mayor Kasim Reed Announces Results of Welcoming Atlanta Working Group

Posted Date: 9/17/2014 3:00 PM

Mayor Kasim Reed

Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Anne Torres, Director
404-330-6423, office
404-904-2618, cell

Melissa Mullinax, Deputy Director
404-825-2430, cell


News Release

Mayor Kasim Reed Announces Results of Welcoming Atlanta Working Group

Mayor Reed announces city’s commitment to recommendations provided by the Working Group to ensure that Atlanta’s newly arrived communities are integrated and supported

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Disappointed Reactions from other organizations on Pres. Obama’s decision to delay immigration relief

America’s Voice Reacts to News of Executive Action Delay

Washington, DC – As news reports today confirm, President Obama will officially delay his announcement on executive action until after the 2014 elections. Following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

“We are bitterly disappointed in the President and we are bitterly disappointed in the Senate Democrats. We advocates didn’t make the reform promise; we just made the mistake of believing it. The President and Senate Democrats have chosen politics over people; the status quo over solving real problems. To paraphrase the revolutionary writer Thomas Paine, these politicians are simply sunshine opportunists, who expect Latino voters to support them in good times, but when the going gets tough, they abandon Latinos and their issues as fast as you can say piñata.

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