Latinas in Tech

By Jennifer Silva 

Since 2017 Latinas in Tech have hosted their annual conference Latinas in Tech Summit, the largest gathering of Latina professionals in technology.  Latinas in Tech is a non-profit organization with the aim to connect, support, and empower Latina women working in tech. They work hand in hand with top technology companies to create safe spaces for learning, mentorship, and recruitment for Latinas in the technological field. 

This year’s summit, Leading with Purpose, will reunite virtually more than 2,000 Latina technologists, business leaders, philanthropists, investors, developers, innovators, designers, and content creators from May 18th to 20th. This conference aims to explore the state of Latina leadership in tech, bridging disparities, breaking down barriers, and providing resources and opportunities for Latinas to thrive, innovate and lead in tech (Jimenez, 2022).

According to the article “Latinas in Tech – Moving the Needle Towards Diversity & Inclusion” self-identifying Latinas make up only 1% of the workforce at large technology corporations like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, to name a few. Organizations like Latinas in Tech are changing the statistic by hosting events and conferences to gather the Latina population in the tech industry to increase numbers. 

During the annual conference of Latinas in Tech,  it will include the 2nd edition of their Tech Startup Competition, as a response to the capital gap that Latinas encounter. A recent report from Bain & Co. found that in spite of their rapid growth, Latino-owned businesses are not getting their fair share of capital from the investment community. The Latinas in Tech Startup Competition is aimed at supporting the Latina tech founders ecosystem by awarding non-dilutive cash prizes of $20K, $10K, and $5K to its top three winners (Latinas in Tech, 2020). 

The 3-day online conference is sponsored by Comcast, Intuit, Salesforce, Cisco, Google A, among others, and will include pre-recorded and live online streaming sessions featuring more than 40 speakers, community and technology leaders such as Dolores Huerta, Iris Castro, Kim Rivera, Mariana Matus, along with other Latinx experts. The conference program will hold multiple workshops including a special track designed for senior employees looking to grow to Executive Director positions, ERG leaders, and members striving to drive their ERG towards excellence (Jimenez, 2022).

By recognizing the need for diversity and inclusion in the tech field, Latinas in Tech help bridge the gap of Latina women in the field by promoting a summit where those in the field can share their experience and mentor other Latinas starting/ or interested in pursuing a career in tech. 

For more information about Latinas in Tech Summit 2022, visit https://latinasintechsummit.org/press

 

 

Work Cited:

Jimenez, P. (2022, April 14). Latinas in Tech Summit 2022 will bring Latinas representing 758 different companies, to connect and join industry leaders, and the most powerful network. Retrieved April 18, 2022, from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/latinas-in-tech-summit-2022-will-bring-latinas-representing-758-different-companies-to-connect-and-join-industry-leaders-and-the-most-powerful-network-301526209.html 

 

Latinas in tech – moving the needle towards Diversity & Inclusion. BoldLatina. (2020, January 15). Retrieved April 18, 2022, from https://boldlatina.com/latinas-in-tech-one-bold-organization-moving-the-needle-towards-diversity-inclusion/ 

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USCIS Announces Online Filing for DACA Renewals

By Tania Ramirez

On April 12, 2022, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that those under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) would have the option of online filing for renewal of their Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The transition to online filing is a step toward adopting an electronic environment and transitioning away from paper-based operations. USCIS Director Ur Jaddou says, “[T]he option to file DACA renewal requests online is part of USCIS’ ongoing move to minimize reliance on paper records and further transition to an electronic environment.” The beginning of this new process could benefit DACA recipients currently struggling financially to request the renewal of their form.  

As of 2021, there are currently 590,070 active DACA recipients. Most recpients were born in Mexico, Central America, or South America, with a percentage of over 94%. The top leading country of origin for most recipients is Mexico, with a percentage of 79.4%. Twenty-one thousand of those DACA recipients reside in Georgia. 

 

The creation of online filing for DACA renewals could potentially save thousands in expenses on filing through an attorney. The USCIS charges an application fee of $495  yet, most DACA applicants pay over $1,000 for the whole application process. Most attorneys charge around $400 to $1000 for their service alone, not including the application fee from the USCIS. Due to the extensive money required for DACA renewals, the number of active recipients continues to decrease. However, with this new option, that number could potentially increase as it becomes more affordable for recipients. 

 

DACA recipients wishing to fill out the online form must first create a USCIS online account. The creation of the account provides a convenient and secure method to submit forms, pay fees, and track the status of any pending USCIS immigration request throughout the adjudication process. The creation of online filing for DACA renewals does not erase the original method, but it provides a faster and more efficient way of speeding up the process. 

 

To create an online USCIS account, click here.

 

Works Cited

López, Gustavo, and Jens Manuel Krogstad. “Key Facts about Unauthorized Immigrants Enrolled in Daca.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 30 May 2020, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/09/25/key-facts-about-unauthorized-immigrants-enrolled-in-daca/. 

“USCIS Announces Online Filing for Daca Renewal Forms.” USCIS, 12 Apr. 2022, https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/news-releases/uscis-announces-online-filing-for-daca-renewal-forms.

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Biden Administration Unveils New Procedures in Handling Asylum Cases

 

By: Tania Ramirez

Asylum seekers make up a large portion of the migrants continuously arriving at the border. Typically, asylum seekers who are not detained are issued a summons and wait an average of more than five years before appearing in court. However, the Biden administration seeks to reduce the current backlog of 1.7 million cases by clearing over hundreds of thousands of deportation and asylum cases.  In doing so, the Biden administration unveiled new procedures to handle these claims efficiently and timely, essentially hoping that cases could be decided in months rather than years. With these efforts, new rules are being created by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to process asylum claims efficiently and fairly.

On March 24th, 2022, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new rule that the DHS and DOJ issued to improve and expedite the processing of asylum claims to ensure that those who are eligible for asylum are granted relief, while those who are not are promptly removed. In addition, this rule empowers asylum officers to grant or deny claims, an authority that used to be limited to immigration judges. Initially, asylum officers would handle the screenings for asylum and other forms of humanitarian relief for border arrivals. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland says that “this rule advances our efforts to ensure that asylum claims are processed fairly, expeditiously, and consistent with due process.” 

 

Along with the new rule issued, the USCIS has established “new internal cycle time goals” to reduce the agency’s pending caseload. With this new cycle, applicants and petitioners will receive decisions on their cases more quickly. Particular forms, such as I-131 (Advance Parole), usually take around 13 to 20 months to be processed. However, these new cycle time goals are expected to be processed within three months. In addition, DACA renewals (I-821D) that were processed between 6-12 months would now be processed within six months. On March 29th, the DHS announced a final rule that aligns premium procession regulations with the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act, which applies to petitioners filing a form I-129, and employment-based immigrant visa petitioners filing a Form I-140. The forms under the premium processing are set to be processed within two weeks. Although the “new cycle time goals” may not begin immediately, USCIS hopes to achieve them by the end of 2023 by increasing capacity, improving technology, and expanding staffing. 

 

Works Cited

“DHS and DOJ Issue Rule to Efficiently and Fairly Process Asylum Claims.” USCIS, 24 Mar. 2022, https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/news-releases/dhs-and-doj-issue-rule-to-efficiently-and-fairly-process-asylum-claims. 

“USCIS Announces New Actions to Reduce Backlogs, Expand Premium Processing, and Provide Relief to Work Permit Holders.” USCIS, 29 Mar. 2022, https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/news-releases/uscis-announces-new-actions-to-reduce-backlogs-expand-premium-processing-and-provide-relief-to-work.

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Issues Within the Latino Community

By Tania Ramirez

Issues within the Latino community have continued to change as the number of registered voters increases drastically. Georgia is home to over 1 million Latinos, accounting for 9% of the population in Georgia. Due to the growing population, Georgia has become one of the top 10 states with the largest Latino/Hispanic population. GALEO has analyzed statewide voter data and created a report which indicates that in 2020, there were 140,995 new registered voters, showing a growth rate of 57.7%. Although many Latinos became more politically engaged in the 2020 election, they believe many issues are yet to be addressed. Immigration used to be a primary concern for Latinos; however, studies have shown that Latinos are more focused on issues regarding the economy, healthcare, and discrimination (Gonzalez and Medina).

 

Currently, the majority of Latino workers make under $15 per hour, which is less than a living wage. For one adult, the living wage is 15.99 per hour, whereas for two, the living wage is 20.46. In a report conducted by The University of Massachusetts, race and ethnicity were compared regarding the proportion of workers that earn less than $15 an hour. In the report, Latinos are shown to have the largest share of workers earning less than $15 an hour. Using the comparison in the report, Latinos make lower hourly wages than white workers. A gap is also shown between Latinos and other race or ethnicity groups with similar work or education experience. The Latino community believes there should be an increase in the minimum wage in an effort to support their family and maintain a sustainable living wage. 

 

Among economic issues, health care has recently become one of the major concerns for Latinos. In Georgia, 15.9% of Latino are uninsured, almost two times higher than the national rate of uninsured Latinos, which is 9.2%. Due to the inability to access health care, most Latinos choose not to seek treatment for their injuries or diseases. Latinos believe that “extending the Affordable Care Act to the entire population, with an extension of Medicaid coverage and lower reliance on low wage employers to provide health care insurance, is a key issue for [their] community” (Dominguez-Villegas and Tomaskovic-Devey).

 

Latinos are conscious of the racism and discrimination they face in this country. In fact, it has become the most critical concern for young Latino voters. 62% of Latino voters stated that discrimination towards their community has gotten worse since 2016. With the increase in discrimination, many Latino-led organizations have emphasized the importance of increasing voter registration and voter turnout. Now, more than ever, the Latino community is determined to improve the civic engagement of Latinos across Georgia. In doing so, it is essential for Latinos to be registered to vote in the upcoming primary and general elections to showcase our existence and our power in the electorate (Sanchez).

 

**REGISTER TO VOTE HERE!**

 

Works Cited

Gonzalez, Jerry, and Erik Francisco Medina. “2020: THE GEORGIA LATINO ELECTORATE GROWS IN POWER.” GALEO, 10 June 2021, https://galeo.org/wp-content/uploads/GLV-2020-Report-1.pdf. 

Dominguez-Villegas, Rodrigo, and Donald Tomaskovic-Devey. “Top Issues for Latino Voters in Swing States for the 2020 Election.” UMass Amherst, https://www.umass.edu/employmentequity/top-issues-latino-voters-swing-states-2020-election. 

Sanchez, Gabriel R. “Yes, Social Justice and Discrimination Were Driving Issues for Latino Voters in 2020.” Brookings, Brookings, 9 Mar. 2022, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/how-we-rise/2020/11/06/yes-social-justice-and-discrimination-were-driving-issues-for-latino-voters-in-2020/.

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