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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

IMMIGRANT OF THE DAY: JORGE MUNOZ - PHILANTROPIST

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Art.heroes.munoz.cnn
Most people think you have to be wealthy to be a philanthropist. But the term, which literally just refers to one who loves people, refers to anyone who donates money, time or expertise to benefit a socially beneficial cause. And one ordinary American who got some well-deserved attention this week is Colombian-born New York City bus driver Jorge Munoz. Munoz is a beneficiary of the 1986 legalization program and like many of the three million Americans who had their status legalized under law, he gives back to his country on a daily basis.

CNN describes him as a hero and explain why:

Munoz obtained legal residency in 1987 and later became a citizen,
along with his mother and sister. He never stood on a street corner to
find work, but as an immigrant, he identifies with many of the men he
feeds.

Munoz began his unorthodox meal program -- now his nonprofit, An Angel in Queens
-- in the summer of 2004. Friends told him about large amounts of food
being thrown away at their jobs. At first, he collected leftovers from
local businesses and handed out brown bag lunches to underprivileged
men three nights a week. Within a few months, Munoz and his mother were
preparing 20 home-cooked meals daily.

Numbers gradually
increased over the years to 35 per night, then 60. In recent months,
that number has jumped to as many as 140 meals a night.


Sustaining this endeavor consumes most of his life. To his mother's
dismay, his family's Woodhaven home is bursting with goods related to
this work. An oversize freezer takes up most of the dining room, and
the porch is lined with canned food and paper products.

Daily
operations now run like a well-oiled machine. Munoz gets up around 5:00
a.m. to drive his bus route, and he calls home on his breaks to see how
the cooking is going. When he gets home around 5:30 p.m. -- often
stopping to pick up food donations -- he helps pack up meals before
heading out to "his corner" in Jackson Heights.

"He comes here without fail," says one of the men. "It could be cold, it could be really hot, but he's here."


Thanks to reader Ravi for this great suggestion for today's Immigrant of the Day.

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Comments

  1. Jim's Avatar
    Nice story : ) I'm sure this will inspire people to think of doing something similar. I know I am.

  2. George Chell's Avatar
    Seems like not much news on the front. Next week it is goodbye to congress until April 14. Perhaps we will only hear from Arapaio.
  3. guest's Avatar
    Any news for NURSES??? Why nothing in terms of nursing relief act being reintroduced or other relief laws ? There was just so much talk and nothing is going on in terms of nursing immigration. Any hopes/news before Congress goes for a break?
  4. George Chell's Avatar
    They wont even have the 2009 budget in order before they take a break!
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