Tag: Eduardo de Oliveira

BostonBrazilianCommentaryImmigration News

A Brazilian Immigrant Journalist Looks Back at 2008

By Eduardo A. de Oliveira, EthnicNewz and FI2W reporter

For millions of immigrant workers 2008 began with a sour taste in all the mouths they have to feed. Six months into 2007, Congress had drowned their highest hopes by killing the Immigration Reform bill.

For many families there was no choice but to return home – in the Brazilian community of Massachusetts alone there were 10,000 retornados, according to the Brazilian Immigrant Center.

Among those who remained here, much of the rhetoric about the need for immigrants to learn English got stuck in the back of their heads. The consequences were best seen in Framingham, Mass.

During a lottery for seats in an English-as-a-second-language course at Fuller Middle School, 500-plus immigrants competed for 165 seats. Of course the ‘no cost’ policy wooed many. But more than ever, they saw English as the language of their future – whether or not they are documented.

EDUARDO A. de OLIVEIRA

Hairdresser Marta dos Santos smiles upon hearing the news that she is one of 165 immigrants picked for an ESL course at Fuller Middle School. More than 500 people tried to get a seat in the classes. Photo: EDUARDO A. de OLIVEIRA

Despite being an election year, 2008 also served to harden immigrants’ hearts.

In the Republican presidential primary, candidates debated who would be the toughest on deporting undocumented workers. Forget about the melting pot, at that point workers learned that to half of America, all that mattered was their immigration status.

In the end, the Republicans selected a presidential candidate who had a record of trying to help undocumented immigrants. But the workers’ future in the U.S. looked grimmer as gas prices hit $4 per gallon, straining the livelihoods of delivery men, truckers, and taxi drivers.

But David Grabowski, a Health Economist at Harvard Medical School, found something about higher gas prices that was not bad news at all.

“We’ve discovered that for every 10 percent in price increase, there are 2.3 percent fewer fatalities in traffic related accidents. Among teenage drivers, at least 6 percent more lives were spared,” said Grabowski, who compared data from Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), from 1985 to 2006.

In another health-related story, a Dominican doctor used her Boston University credentials to fill a gap left behind by the Massachusetts Health Care Reform law. (more…)

BrazilianImmigration News

Back to Where It All Started: New Hampshire Public Radio Focuses on Immigrant Vote

Even though New Hampshire’s immigrant population is growing rapidly, there are still relatively few immigrants living in the Granite State – site of the “first in the nation” presidential primary.  On election day New Hampshire Public Radio’s Word of Mouth took a rare look at immigrant voters in New Hampshire and around the nation with Feet In Two Worlds Executive Producer John Rudolph and Eduardo A. de Oliveira, a Brazilian journalist who writes for the Nashua Telegraph and New England Ethnic News.

Click here to listen to the interview.

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Immigrant Voters in New Hampshire: Eduardo de Oliveira on New York Public Radio

Eduardo A. de Oliveira, a Brazilian-born reporter for New England Ethnic News and a Feet in 2 Worlds contributor, appeared this morning on The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC, New York Public Radio, to describe the scene in the battleground state of New Hampshire.

You can listen to that segment of the show here.

BostonBrazilianImmigration News

Brazilian Voters in Massachusetts Favor Dems Today, May Switch in the Future

NASHUA, NH – By Eduardo A. de Oliveira, New England Ethnic News and FI2W

Heloisa Galvão, president of the Brazilian Women’s Group in Massachusetts, is concerned that immigrant voters don’t have all the information they need to vote today.

“Yesterday we received at least nine calls from people who simply didn’t know where they should go to vote,” said Galvão, who headed to a polling place in Jamaica Plain at 7 am.

Today, the Women’s Group, a grassroots non-profit organization that trains Brazilian housecleaners to use products based on natural formulas, will have two staffers by the phone to help voters.

According to Immigration and Naturalization data, 53,045 Brazilians were naturalized in this country between 1991 and 2007. In Massachusetts, at least 3,900 became American citizens between 2004 and last August.

During two informal polls taken by the Vem Viver show at local station WSRO, Portuguese speakers showed high support for Barack Obama. The Democratic candidate led his opponent, John McCain, by big margins both days the surveys were conducted: 14 to 6 yesterday, and 39 to 10 on Friday.

Despite heavy support for the Democrats, many in the community believe that won’t be the case in the future. With at least sixty evangelical churches serving Brazilians in the state, some predict Republican support will spike in coming years.

[Brazilian Women’s Group can be reached at 617-787-0557, extensions 14 or 15.]