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



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 


Latinas in tech – moving the needle towards Diversity & Inclusion. BoldLatina. (2020, January 15). Retrieved April 18, 2022, from 

Read more

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, 

“USCIS Announces Online Filing for Daca Renewal Forms.” USCIS, 12 Apr. 2022,

Read more

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, 

“USCIS Announces New Actions to Reduce Backlogs, Expand Premium Processing, and Provide Relief to Work Permit Holders.” USCIS, 29 Mar. 2022,

Read more

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).




Works Cited

Gonzalez, Jerry, and Erik Francisco Medina. “2020: THE GEORGIA LATINO ELECTORATE GROWS IN POWER.” GALEO, 10 June 2021, 

Dominguez-Villegas, Rodrigo, and Donald Tomaskovic-Devey. “Top Issues for Latino Voters in Swing States for the 2020 Election.” UMass Amherst, 

Sanchez, Gabriel R. “Yes, Social Justice and Discrimination Were Driving Issues for Latino Voters in 2020.” Brookings, Brookings, 9 Mar. 2022,

Read more

Who is Cesar Chavez?

By Tania Ramirez 

Farm workers play an essential role in today’s agriculture. However, it took a while before people could understand their importance and treat them fairly. During the Great Depression, migrant farm workers made around 40 cents a day and were barely able to provide for their families. In addition, they were forced to work under difficult conditions without receiving employment benefits. It was not until Cesar Chavez that migrant workers were seen and treated as essential workers.

Cesar Chavez was a Mexican-American labor leader and civil rights activist. Chavez witnessed first-hand the struggles and poverty of migrant workers. Chavez was born in Yuma, Arizona on March 31st, 1927. Once Chavez reached the 8th grade, his family moved to California and dropped out of school to work in the fields with his dad to help meet their family’s needs. At the age of 19, Chavez joined the Navy in which he served for two years. Once his service was over, he moved back to California and returned to work in the fields.

In 1952, Chavez began working with the Community Service Organization (CSO), a Latino civil rights group, to help register Latino voters and fight racial discrimination. After ten years, Chavez realized not much was being done for farm workers. He was determined to advocate for better working and living conditions for them, so he used his life’s savings to create an organization. Chavez, along with Dolores Huerta, founded the National Farm Workers Association, now known as the United Farm Workers ( Editors, 2009).

The National Farm Workers Association and Chavez were able to accomplish many significant breakthroughs for farm workers. They were able to establish minimum wage standards, wage contracts, safer working conditions, child labor reform, and advancements in civil rights for Chicanos and other farm workers. His passion and commitment to fight for migrant farm workers has created an impact in today’s agricultural industries. In 2014, President Barack Obama declared March 31st as Cesar Chavez Day to commemorate his legacy. Since then, many continue to remember and celebrate Cesar Chavez for everything he was able to accomplish for migrant farm workers (Clark). 

Works Cited Editors. “Cesar Chavez.”, A&E Television Networks, 27 Oct. 2009,

Clark, Amelia E. “Chávez, César.” Chávez, César | Learning to Give,

Read more

El Refugio Spotlight

By Jennifer Silva 

El Refugio is a non-profit organization that began its roots with the Georgia Detention Watch, in which members began leading groups to visit immigrants and asylum seekers detained at Stewart Detention Center in 2008. After witnessing the challenges shared by those visiting loved ones at Stewart — traveling long distances, the trauma of family separation, and the lack of resources such as hotels and restaurants in the remote town of Lumpkin —  a group of friends established El Refugio. The idea was to open a hospitality house offering meals and lodging at no cost to those traveling to Stewart Detention Center. 

El Refugio hosts families in which they offer lodging, meals, and support to those visiting loved ones detained at Stewart Detention Center. They take individuals and groups to visit immigrants detained at Stewart Detention Center. Most importantly, they help with post-release support in which they support people coming out of SDC with plane and bus tickets, information, and referrals.

El Refugio can help those who may have a loved one detained at Stewart Detention Center by sending a loved one a book to alleviate boredom, putting a small amount of money on a loved one’s commissary and phone accounts, sending grocery store gift cards, arranging for a bag of clothing for a loved one, in case they are deported. They can also provide post-release support for a loved one, if they are released on bond or parole, or because they won their case.

Not only does El Refugio provide support, but they provide educational materials to those wanting to learn more. They educate the community by giving presentations to schools, churches, and community groups to increase awareness of immigration detention and advocate for justice for immigrants. 

To help support El Refugio and their efforts to educate/support those dealing with the Stewart Detention Center, you can donate on their website where the money offers meals, lodging, and additional assistance to our guests free of charge. 

El Refugio provides ways to volunteer such as visiting individuals detained at Stewart Detention Center, spending a weekend at the Hospitality House hosting families and visitation groups, writing letters to detained individuals, inviting them to share immigration detention and organization with your faith community, community group, or friends, answering our hotline (Bilingual Spanish required), holding a drive for clothing, toiletries, or gift cards (Contact, becoming a pen-pal via letters, the phone, or video-conference (Speakers of a language other than English needed), and serving on a committee such as letter-writing, advocacy, or fundraising.

If you’re interested in learning more, you can contact them on their website,

Read more

The Importance of In-State Tuition for Refugees

By Tania Ramirez

The Georgia General Assembly has had a busy session in 2022. Aside from all the legislation being proposed, tuition equity has been crucial during the 2022 session. House Bill 932 (HB 932) is a bipartisan bill that proposes for noncitizen students with certain refugee, special immigrant (SIV holders), or humanitarian parole status under federal laws to be classified as in-state for tuition purposes. 

Currently, all personnel that classify as refugees must abide by a one-year waiting period after settling in Georgia to qualify for an in-state tuition rate. With this bill, refugees would not be required to wait for the one-year waiting period and would be allowed to be eligible for in-state tuition upon settling in Georgia. The difference between in-state tuition and out-of-state tuition rates can be as high as three times more than regular in-state tuition. 

As refugees settle in Georgia, they are forced to start over and begin a new life. Despite the obstacles of starting over, they realize that they have finally found a place they can call home. However, they are set back due to the expenses of attending college. Although it may sound easy to wait a year to attend college and be granted an in-state tuition rate, many lose hope of returning to college because they feel it is now too late. With the passing of HB 932, refugees can rapidly invest in their futures and essentially create more career opportunities in Georgia. Rep. Wes Cantrell states that there are currently more jobs available than people to fill them. Granting in-state tuition for refugees will allow them to pursue higher education and fill open job positions.

In addition, HB 932 could play a crucial role in covering Afghan nationals that supported the U.S. and were evacuated this past summer and granted humanitarian parole. Georgia has accepted more than 1,700 Afghan humanitarian parolees and hundreds of other refugees and SIV holders, most of which are college-ready. Also, many Afghans being evacuated and brought to Georgia risked their lives for the U.S. by providing security and translation for U.S. soldiers. 

In a recent hearing at the Higher Education Committee on February 23, 2022, more than a dozen Georgia leaders favored this bill and expressed their support for it. Because the bill is highly supported, our state legislature needs to vote on it and allow it to go into effect. The quicker it goes into effect, the faster refugees can further expand their education.

Works Cited

“Georgia HB932: 2021-2022: Regular Session.” LegiScan,

Grinspan, Lautaro. “Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Help Refugees Attend Georgia Colleges.” Ajc, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 31 Jan. 2022,

Read more

Latinx Podcasts on the Rise

By Rafael Vargas

As technology keeps on evolving, so have our forms of entertainment. Although late night talk shows and radio broadcasts are still around, podcasts are rapidly increasing in popularity as the new form of media where audiences can listen to hosts talk for hours over a variety of fascinating topics. In recent years, podcasts created by Latinxs have been on the rise with shows ranging from daily news stories to even shows regarding mysterious folk legends.

Erick Galindo is one of the many Latinx hosts that have gained a following due to his fascinating podcast “Idolo: the Ballad of Chalino Sanchez”. It tells the story of Mexican singer and songwriter Chalino Sanchez who pioneered the “prohibited ballad”, songs that told tales of drug smugglers and violent criminals. Galindo’s main goal when starting his career was to create content that could be enjoyed by both English and Spanish speakers alike. The popularity of Erick Galindo’s podcast can also be attributed with the ever rising Latinx population in the U.S., which “[…] reached 62.1 million in 2020.” (Exposito 2022). Which is all the more reason why Latinx podcasts have been gaining traction as of recently. As a result, popular streaming services have started providing platforms for these creators to share their projects. Audible, for example, is planning to release the Latin series “Punk in Translation: Latinx Origins”, an audio documentary that tells the origins of Latin Punk Rock (Exposito 2022). 

Latinx podcasts are growing in popularity due to the vast variety of interesting topics created by the Latinx community. Because of this, there is hope that other forms of entertainment will begin commissioning shows from the many Latinx content creators across the world. 


Works Cited 

Exposito, Suzy. “Podcasts made by and for Latinos Finally make Mainstream Inroads.” Los Angeles Times, 15 February 2022,

Read more

“Encanto” and the Importance of Representation in Media

By Rafael Vargas

Ever since its release, Disney’s “Encanto” has won the world over with its spectacular animation and beautiful music performances from an all-star cast. One of the strongest points of the movie is that this is one of Disney’s first times showing representation of Latinx individuals and their culture. This is further highlighted by the popular posts that are appearing on social media that show Latinx children brimming with joy at the sight of cartoon characters that look just like them. The movie “”Encanto””’s great success, and overwhelming popularity shows how important positive representation in media truly is for millions of movie fanatics across the world.

Throughout all of Disney’s filmography, the primary culture that most of their projects are focused on is European culture, especially with their ways of storytelling. This usually involves settings with grand castles from an older time, princesses in distress, and evil witches and their magical concoctions. Recently, Disney has started to show a wider variety of different cultures found worldwide, and “Encanto” is an excellent example of this. It shows Colombian culture in all its beauty, from traditional clothing, various tasty platters,  and amazing architecture. These aspects of the movie are key to opening the world to a culture that is often not portrayed on the silver screen. In general, these kinds of movies educate society to welcome different kinds of people, especially to the youth. Too often have different forms of media portrayed cultures that “look different” as criminals, having aggressive attitudes, or as exaggerated caricatures. And in doing so, it results in people resenting others that simply don’t look like them, since sometimes this content is the only form of representation that they are exposed to.

With the grand success of films such as “Encanto”, there is great hope that things are changing for the better in the world of film and television. It shows that people are excited to see media that portray different lifestyles than their own, and that they are open to learning about various cultures.

Read more

Tuition Equity for DACA Recipients

By Tania Ramirez 

The expansion for tuition equity has been a topic discussed in Georgia for the past three years. In 2021, Rep. Kasey Carpenter (R. 4th District, Dalton) proposed the Georgia Resident In-State Tuition Act, also known as House Bill 120 (HB 120). HB 120 is a bipartisan bill that will allow those under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy (DACA) to pay in-state tuition if they meet certain requirements. DACA is a policy that President Barack Obama signed on June 12, 2012. This policy protects over 800,000 young people, also known as Dreamers, who entered the United States unlawfully as children. Although the program does not grant them a path towards citizenship, it does allow them to apply for a driver’s license, social security number, and work permit (Boundless).

Initially, the bill proposed to offer in-state tuition to DACA recipients with the intent that students would be paying the same as other in-state students; however, it was changed by the Higher Education Committee. The change was intended to allow universities to charge them the same but no more than 10% of the regular in-state tuition. In addition, universities would be required to prioritize qualified in-state students not applying under the HB 120 law. Lastly, it would allow universities to defer the application of DACA recipients. Because the Georgia General Assembly operates in a two-year biannual session, the bill was last heard by the Higher Education Committee. In 2022, HB 120 will be picked up where it left off during last year’s General Assembly session. 

For many Dreamers, Georgia is the only place they call home. During an interview with our intern Tania Ramirez, DACA recipient, and’s Georgia State Director Jaime Rangel  says that “when it was time for [him] to go to college [at] Dalton State, one class would be $1,500, not including books.” Due to the extensive out-of-state tuition for DACA recipients, many Dreamers decide to postpone receiving a higher education.

 Tania, also a DACA recipient, mentions, “as a DACA recipient, it is extremely challenging to pursue my education due to the expenses of attending college.”

According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, there are about 21,000 DACA recipients in Georgia as of 2020. As the number grows, tuition equity becomes more of a necessity for Georgians. Tuition equity for Dreamers would not only benefit DACA recipients, but it would also benefit the economy, as it would allow thousands of students to continue their education and expand the future labor force. Dreamers are eligible to invest in their future with higher education, making Georgia a more robust state. According to, reports indicate that in-state tuition for undocumented students could add as much as $10 million to the economy each year. 

Currently, “[DACA Recipients] contribute $92.5 million annually to the state and local taxes. [They] also have a strong spending power of $747.5 million in Georgia,” says Jaime during the interview.

Dreamers have continuously contributed to the economy without receiving anything in return. In Georgia, Dreamers cannot qualify for in-state tuition; they cannot ask for federal help such as FAFSA, nor access health care programs. It is time for DACA recipients to receive in-state tuition and invest in their future. Currently, 21 states have already extended in-state tuition to undocumented students who meet specific residency requirements. Unfortunately, Georgia is not one of them. Tuition equity is both a Republican and Democratic issue. This issue is one that lawmakers need to come together to solve. It is an investment for all Georgians, not just Dreamers. In addition, the passing of HB 120 could continue to set a precedent for more U.S. states that currently do not expand in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants or those under the DACA policy. As more U.S. states expand tuition equity, the chance of pushing forward a path towards citizenship grows. 


Works Cited

“Nearly 30,000 Undocumented Young Adults in Georgia Could Immediately Benefit from Tuition Equity.”, 22 Oct. 2021, 

Georgia General Assembly, 

Williams, Ross. “State House Committee Hears Pitch to Give Georgia DACA Students in-State Tuition.” Georgia Public Broadcasting, 22 Oct. 2021, 

“What Is Daca? Everything You Need to Know.” Boundless, 


Read more