Thursday, September 3, 2015

International Students in the United States

SEVIS by the Numbers,” a quarterly report on international students studying in the United States, was released Thursday, Sept. 3 by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The report contains the latest data from the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a Web-based system that includes information about international students, exchange visitors and their dependents while they are in the United States.

Based on data extracted from SEVIS July 7, there are more than one million international students, using an F (academic) or M (vocational) visa, enrolled at nearly 9,000 U.S. schools. This marked a nine percent increase when compared to July 2014 data.

Seventy-six percent of all international students were from Asia. The top 10 countries of citizenship for international students included: China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Mexico and Brazil.

India and Vietnam had the greatest percentage increase in students studying in the United States at 31.9 and 25.9 percent, respectively, when compared to statistics extracted from SEVIS July 2014. The University of Southern California, New York University, Columbia University, the University of Illinois and Purdue University ranked one through five among U.S. schools with the most international students.

The full report can be viewed here


September 3, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Home" by Warsan Shire

"Home" by Warsan Shire is your must read of the day. It offers a powerful message in the wake of the widely-publicized photo of 3-year old Aylan Kurdi's body, washed upon the shores of Turkey.

Shire writes:

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land

This may become required reading for my asylum classes.


September 3, 2015 in Current Affairs, Photos, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Americans Campaign Celebrates Citizenship Day

New americans

In September, hundreds of lawful permanent residents throughout the country will take the first step towards becoming United States citizens by attending free or low-cost events as part of the New Americans Campaign. This month, New Americans Campaign partners in 17 cities will hold citizenship workshops, information sessions, classes and phone banks to help citizenship-eligible lawful permanent residents take the critical next step to become U.S. citizens.

“There are many reasons to become a citizen – from petitioning for your family to come to the U.S. to being protected from deportation,” says Eric Cohen, Executive Director of Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the lead organization for the New Americans Campaign. “But it also goes beyond that – this is a critical time for immigrants to have a voice and become civically engaged in our communities. This Citizenship Day, we’re helping hundreds achieve this opportunity.”

Please visit the New Americans Campaign calendar of events for a full list of activities, like those below, taking place on Citizenship Day, Sept. 17, and all month long.


September 3, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: A Nation of Nations: A Great American Immigration Story by Tom Gjelten


In A Nation of Nations: A Great American Immigration Story, veteran NPR correspondent Tom Gjelten assesses the impact and importance of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act by interweaving the stories of a handful of immigrant families with the history and analysis of the immigration changes in America as a whole.

As the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Act approaches this October, immigration continues to be a hot-button issue in American politics.  When the law was passed, fewer than 5 percent of Americans were foreign-born. Today, immigrants make up nearly 14 percent of the U.S. population, and the composition of the foreign-born population has changed dramatically. The 1965 Act abolished the national-origin quotas that favored immigrants from Europe and discriminated against all others. The United States, for the first time, became a country that officially welcomed people of all nationalities.

In the decades since, America’s founding myth of openness has been tested. Prior to 1965, three out of four immigrants came from Europe, and the country’s cultural character reflected its Anglo-Saxon roots. As Gjelten writes, “The evident premise of U.S. immigration law was that the explanation for America’s success in the world actually lay in its European heritage, not in its history as a country shaped by enterprising newcomers.” Fifty years after passage of the 1965 Act, nine out of ten immigrants are coming from other parts of the world, including Vietnam, Korea, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Mexico, Central America, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and many other places previously unrepresented. As one of the last—and most important—acts of the civil-rights era, the 1965 Act forced a new consideration of the U.S. national identity. By committing to a multicultural heritage, America took a thrilling gamble, betting heavily on its own resilience. As Gjelten writes in the prologue:

“The immigrant influx set up a belated test of America’s character and identity. Was its strength and resilience a result of its formation as ‘not merely a nation but a teeming nation of nations,’ as Walt Whitman said? Or were its achievements actually due to its Anglo-Saxon heritage? That aspect of American society was fast diminishing in relative importance, replaced by unprecedented racial and ethnic diversity. The country had not yet dared to see whether it could live up to its motto, E pluribus unum, ‘Out of many, one’ (an expression that referred originally to the thirteen colonies coming together as one state). As last, America could find out whether it was truly an exceptional nation and what it really meant to be American.” 

 This story unfolded with particular drama in some communities, notably one suburban county in northern Virginia that experienced a lifetime of change in a few short years, as immigrants arrived from all over the world. As late as 1970, foreign-born residents in Fairfax County made up less than one percent of the population. By 2010, one out of four county residents was an immigrant, and more than 100 languages were represented in the county school system.

 Gjelten’s narrative portrays in rich detail five immigrant families fromAsian, Arab, and Latin American countriesas they settle into Fairfax County and struggle to find and embrace the values that bind them to their new homeland and make them fully American. 

 Mark Keam and Alex Seong Keam both came from impoverished backgrounds in South Korea but both took advantage of educational opportunities in the United States and became successful lawyers. Along the way, they observed the tensions that sometimes surface in the relations between immigrants and other minority groups. Mark was a political activist and, with his wife’s support, became the first Asian immigrant elected to the Virginia state legislature. His career demonstrated the political clout of the new immigrant population.

 Esam Omeish and his siblings arrived in the United States with their parents from Libya. Though the family was not especially religious in Libya, they became devout Muslims in America. Esam, who became a prominent lay leader of the Muslim community in northern Virginia, credited a U.S. climate of openness and freedom and was determined to show that a commitment to Islam is not incompatible with a fervent U.S. patriotism.

 The Alarcón family immigrated from Bolivia, spurred by the family matriarch who taught her daughters and their husbands to plan their futures carefully and plot a way to reach their destination. “When you start out poor, you are better than others at rising up,” she counseled. And rise up they did, learning new skills and trades with the help of instructional books they borrowed from their local library. 

 The families profiled in A Nation of Nations are illustrative of the immigration experience across America and their stories incorporate many immigrant themes, including friction between minorities, the drive to compete and create, and the burdens associated with racial and cultural stereotyping.

Among the characters in this epic story are the politicians and pundits who debated for years whom the country should welcome, the African American activists who overcame segregation only to face competition from new immigrant neighbors, and the government officials who had to design services for a population of various languages, faiths, and colors.

 Gjelten shares many notable insights on the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act, including:


 The 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act has received far less attention than the Civil Rights Act or the Voting Rights Act, which were approved around the same time, but its passage has proved to be one of the most nation-changing events in American history.  By eliminating national origin quotas, which heavily favored European immigration, the 1965 Act opened the door to visa applicants from around the world on a non-discriminatory basis.  In the fifty years after its enactment, the foreign-born share of the U.S. population tripled and shifted dramatically in composition. 

  • Critics of the 1965 immigration reform objected that it would shift the immigration flow, in the words of one senator, “from those European countries that contributed most to the formation of this nation to the countries of Asia and Africa.” Supporters insisted no such shift would ensue from the reform, but in this case the critics’ predictions were closer to the mark. In 1960, three out of four immigrants were from Europe. By 2010, nine of ten immigrants were from non-European countries.  


  • As a U.S. senator, Lyndon B. Johnson supported the McCarran-Walter Act, which severely restricted immigration from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East through the use of national origin quotas. By contrast, Sen. John F. Kennedy was an outspoken opponent of the quota system. But it was Johnson, not Kennedy, who as president made the elimination of national origin quotas a top legislative priority, and Johnson’s strong support was key to passage of the 1965 Act.


  • Some conservatives today decry the 1965 Act, arguing in hindsight that it produced more immigration than the country could handle. But much of that influx stemmed from an amendment of the original reform proposal, introduced at the time in deference to conservative wishes. Advocates of the national origin quota system agreed to support the 1965 reform only after “family unification” rather than “employability” was made the top immigration goal. The conservatives’ expectation was that by giving preference to those immigrants with U.S. relatives, the existing ethnic profile of the U.S. population would be preserved. Instead, the “family unification” preference gave rise to the phenomenon of chain migration, which in subsequent years became responsible for the vast majority of new non-European immigrants.


  • The 1965 Act was passed as part of the Great Society program and had the support of liberal Democrats in the U.S. Congress. But the Democratic Party at the time also included a large number of conservative southerners, while the Republican Party included many northern moderates and liberals. Proportionally, more Republicans than Democrats supported the 1965 legislation.


  • The shift from European to non-European immigration in the fifty years after the 1965 Act was reinforced by changes in the international economic and political order. Europe was experiencing economic growth and prosperity, so Europeans were less motivated to migrate. Violent conflict and political unrest in the developing countries, meanwhile, were pushing more people to leave home and seek better lives elsewhere. At the same time, improvements in global communication and transportation networks were making migration an increasingly practical option. Secretary of State Dean Rusk in 1965 chose not to highlight those global trends when he downplayed the prospect of “a world situation where everybody is just straining to move to the United States.”


  • The prevalence of chain migration in the post-1965 years resulted in new settlement patterns. Previously, immigrants were more likely to move en masse from their native countries and settle in enclaves with others of their national background, often in urban areas. More recent immigrants, however, tended to arrive family by family and choose their destinations more deliberately. Many settled in suburbanneighborhoods, attracted by good schools, employment opportunities, and greater security. The result was a more diverse pattern of settlement.


  • Post-1965 immigration numbers from Asia and Africa tell a dramatic story. In 1960, barely 11,000 Koreans lived in the U.S. By 2000, the number was 864,000.  The number of native Pakistanis in the United States jumped during the same period from 1,700 to 223,000. Immigration from India during those forty years increased from about 17,000 to more than one million. In the forty years prior to 1965, fewer than 40,000 people from all of Africa were admitted to the United States as immigrants. Over the next forty years, the number of African immigrants legally resident in the United States rose to 1.4 million.


  • The elimination of national origin quotas in U.S. immigration policy was seen at the time as a civil rights achievement and came in the context of the civil rights movement. The influx of immigrants that followed coincided with the expansion of opportunities for black Americans in education, housing, and employment. In places like Fairfax County, Virginia, where racial segregation had been the rule, this created some conflict. No sooner had black residents won a measure of justice than they found themselves competing for scarce resources with newly arriving immigrants.


  • The influx of non-European immigrants after 1965 had political as well as social implications, though in diverse ways. A quarter of economically active Korean immigrants are self-employed, giving them a special stake in debates about taxation and business regulation. Immigrants from Muslim countries are more likely to have conservative views when it comes to such social issues as same-sex marriage and abortion. Indians, the most highly-educated immigrant group, are over-represented in professional and technical circles, with higher than average incomes, and GOP leaders see the group as a natural constituency.


September 3, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

As Central American Migration Has Risen, Mexico’s New Enforcement Role Is

The United States and Mexico have apprehended nearly 1 million Salvadoran, Guatemalan and Honduran migrants since 2010, deporting more than 800,000 of them, including more than 40,000 children. While the United States led in pace and number of apprehensions of Central Americans in 2010-2014, Mexico has since pulled ahead, apprehending one-third more adults and children than the United States so far this year.

Amid increasingly muscular enforcement by Mexico, U.S. apprehensions of Central Americans for fiscal 2015 to date have fallen by more than half compared to the prior year. Many of those who previously would have made it to the U.S. border and been apprehended by the Border Patrol now are being intercepted by Mexican authorities.

The findings are contained in a new Migration Policy Institute (MPI) report, Migrants Deported from the United States and Mexico to the Northern Triangle: A Statistical and Socioeconomic Profile, which suggests that the increased Mexican enforcement capacity is reshaping regional dynamics and perhaps ushering in changes to long-lasting trends in regional apprehensions.

“The main force at play in the region today with respect to immigration enforcement is the ‘squeezing of the balloon’,” said Doris Meissner, director of MPI’s U.S. immigration policy program and co-director of MPI’s Regional Migration Study Group, which produced the report. “To succeed, responses to regional migration dynamics must move beyond shifting the flows and instead begin deflating the pressures that generate them.”

To achieve a more comprehensive policy, the report suggests that the United States and Mexico, working with Central America, should design migration policies with workable enforcement and humanitarian protection as well as development policies that address poor standards of living, improve citizen security in the Northern Triangle and facilitate the re-integration of deportees.

While the U.S. public and policymakers focused intensely in 2014 on the dramatic increase in unaccompanied minor flows, the MPI researchers find that Mexico has deported nearly 80 percent of the Central American minors apprehended by both countries since 2010. Mexico’s deportations as a share of apprehensions rate also greatly exceeds that of the United States: for every 100 minors apprehended in Mexico in 2014, 77 were deported, compared to three out of 100 for those apprehended in the United States.

The report also offers a profile of deportees to the Northern Triangle, finding that the majority are young males with low educational attainment levels, most having experience in low-skilled jobs but with nearly 40 percent reporting they were unemployed in the 30 days before setting off on their journey.

And contrary to the stereotype that many young Central American migrants are gang members, the MPI researchers report that the majority of deportees do not have a criminal background. Ninety-five percent of child deportees and 61 percent of adult deportees had never been convicted of a crime. For those with a criminal record, 63 percent had been convicted of immigration or traffic offenses or other non-violent crimes. Twenty-nine percent of those with criminal convictions had committed violent offenses and 9 percent drug offenses.

Among the report’s other top findings:

  • More than 60 percent of deportees to Central America are younger than 29, more than 80 percent are male, and more than 53 percent have an  elementary-level education or less. Only 2 percent have university-level education.
  • Among youth younger than 18 who were deported by the United States or Mexico, the majority are boys between ages 12 and 17. However, the surge in overall child inflows since 2013 has also been marked by a sharp increase in the number and proportion of migrants coming from the most vulnerable groups: children under the age of 12 and girls. This increase may be  indicative of deteriorating conditions in the region.
  • Even though the number of child apprehensions tripled in 2010-2014, minors made up a relatively small share of deportations to the Northern Triangle—less than 18,000, or around 8 percent of all deportations in 2014.
  • Apprehensions of Central Americans by the United States and Mexico more than tripled      between 2010 and 2014, rising from approximately 100,000 to more than 340,000. Deportations also increased during the period, although not as rapidly, from 142,000 in 2010 to more than 213,000 in 2014.

MPI’s online journal, the Migration Information Source, has just published a demographic profile of Central American immigrants in the United States, which is available here.


September 3, 2015 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

ICE Sweep in Los Angeles, Guess Where Most of the Immigrants Came From?


Earlier this week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that

"officers in the Los Angeles area arrested more than 240 criminals and individuals who pose a threat to public safety last week, a record number for a four-day ICE operation in the Southland. All 244 of the foreign nationals taken into custody . . . .had prior criminal convictions. The majority (56 percent) had criminal records that included felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as child sex crimes, weapons charges and drug violations. The remaining arrestees had past convictions for significant or multiple misdemeanors. . . . . While the vast majority of those taken into custody are originally from Mexico (191), a total of 21 countries are represented, including Peru, Thailand, France and Ghana. "  Here is a Los Angeles Times story on the sweep.

Although precise statistics are not available, the ICE press release makes it clear that the impact of the sweep fell most heavily on noncitizens from Mexico.  Generally speaking, as blogged about previously, the efforts to remove "criminal aliens" falls most heavily on Latino immigrants in no small part because state and local law enforcement target minority communities for law enforcement scrutiny.  As a result, about 96% of the immigrants removed from the country annually are from Mexico and Central America.


September 3, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: The Human Rights of Children in an Age of Mobility by Karen E. Bravo


The Human Rights of Children in an Age of Mobility by Karen E. Bravo, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law August 22, 2015, 37 Human Rights Quarterly 787 (2015)

Abstract: This Essay reviews Jacqueline Bhabha, Child Migration & Human Rights in a Global Age (Princeton, 2014), ISBN 978-0-6911-4360-6, 374 pages.

Jacqueline Bhabha offers a rich and thought-provoking analysis of child migration flows, presenting historical and current cases of child migration, applicable legal frameworks, fundamental principles of child human rights, and procedural or administrative instruments that affect child migrations. She discusses movement for family reunification purposes, as refugees seeking sanctuary, as victims of exploitation such as human trafficking and recruitment as child soldiers, and autonomous migration in search of a better live.

This Essay identifies and summarizes the key themes of and questions raised by Bhabha, and offers critiques of the volume’s failure to address the structural causes of state inhospitality or to engage with the threat that states perceive from the unsanctioned and unregulated flow of mobile humanity.


September 3, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Images of the European Refugee Crisis

Those teaching Immigration Law this semester might want to check out the New York Times video database on the International Migrant Crisis. Many clips are short (less than a minute) and they give a good picture of the scope of the European crisis.

And, if you haven't yet seen it, there's a very graphic photo circulating the internet of a toddler's body that washed ashore in Turkey. It's not graphic in the sense of bloody. CNN describes it well, reporting:

He's maybe a year old, maybe a little older. Lying face down, his head to one side with his bottom slightly up -- the way very young children like to sleep.

But the water is lapping around his face and his body is lifeless.

It's gut-wrenching.

The photo has been circulating with the hashtag #KıyıyaVuranİnsanlık which means "Flotsam of Humanity" in Turkish.



September 2, 2015 in Current Affairs, Photos, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Central American Immigrants in the United States


Map courtesy of Wikipedia

Large-scale Central American migration to the United States, an overwhelmingly post-1980s phenomenon, has been driven mainly by economic hardship and political instability in the region. In 2013, approximately 3.2 million Central American immigrants resided in the United States—the majority from the so-called Northern Triangle formed by El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—representing 7 percent of the country’s 41.3 million immigrants.  For more details, see this Migration Information Source spotlight.


September 2, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrant Shift: The Changing California Workforce


California has the seventh-largest economy in the world, and immigrants have a long history in building that prosperity. Today, one out of every three working people in California is an immigrant – and their share has grown in recent decades. Our economy is shaped by these workers and entrepreneurs – 6 million people who’ve found a job in the Golden State.

In a series “Immigrant Shift,” KQED and The California Report explores the work they do, the challenges they face and the policies that affect them. How California's immigrant workers actually fare will mean a lot for the state's future.

Click the link above to the stories in this fascinating series.


September 2, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Baseball Icon Fernando Valenzuela Becomes U.S. Citizen


Former Immigrant of the Day Fernando Valenzuela, who was born in Mexico, was a star pitcher for six different teams during his Major League Baseball career, most notably the Los Angeles Dodgers, with whom he pitched from 1980 to 1990. Thanks in part to his Mexican heritage and a devastating screwball, Valenzuela touched off an early 1980s craze dubbed "Fernandomania." That year, Valenzuela became only player in Major League history to win both the Rookie of The Year award and the Cy Young Award in the same season.

One of the more amazing stats was Valenzuela's dominance against their rivals, the San Francisco Giants. He was an unbelievable 33-2 with a 1.15 E.R.A. against the Giants and pitched 10 one hitters against the orange and black.  Valenzuela no doubt was happy last night was happy as his Dodgers beat the Giants with a stellar pitching performance by Zack Greinke

The New York Times reports on Valenzuela's recent naturalization and becoming a U.S. citizen.  Although he works as a Spanish-language broadcaster for Dodgers games, he rarely does interviews and, outside calling games, keeps a low media profile. According to the Times, Valenzuela declined to take part in a news conference about his new status or to do any interviews.

Hat tip to blogger extraordinaire Kit Johnson for letting me know about this Dodgers-related immigration event.


September 2, 2015 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Binding the Enforcers: The Administrative Law Struggle Behind Pres. Obama's Immigration Actions by Michael Kagan


Binding the Enforcers: The Administrative Law Struggle Behind Pres. Obama's Immigration Actions by Michael Kagan, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Richmond Law Review, Vol. 50, 2016, Forthcoming

Abstract: President Obama’s ambitious use of executive discretion in immigration – especially the DACA and DAPA programs – should be understood in context of a struggle within the executive branch between the President and frontline enforcement officers in the Department of Homeland Security who have actively resisted his policy agenda. The so far successful litigation by 26 states to partially halt these programs has focused on this struggle within the executive branch, rather than on the stalemate between the President and Congress over legislative immigration reform. In preliminary rulings, the federal district court and the Court of Appeals have interpreted ambiguous provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act to require a cumbersome notice and comment process in order for the President and the heads of immigration enforcement agencies to provide binding instructions to frontline enforcement officers about how to exercise discretion in individual cases. This article argues that interpreting the APA in this manner is unnecessary and thwarts the ability of elected leaders to direct the operations of government, and thus insulates law enforcement from change through the democratic process. Prosecutorial discretion requires judgment calls, and these decisions should be made as much as possible in a manner that renders them accountable to voters. To illustrate the need for elected officials to be able to direct their subordinates, this article draws analogies to conservative critiques of public sector unions, and to First Amendment case law involving public employees.


September 2, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Silver Lining in Trump's Rhetoric

Matthew Tully, political columnist for The Indianapolis Star, finds a silver lining to Donald Trump's hateful immigration rhetoric. Tully interviewed Terri Morris Downs, the head of one of Indiana's leading immigration advocacy organizations: The Immigrant Welcome Center.

Downs says this about Trump: "I am grateful that he is at least starting a conversation about immigration in the United States. And I hope this conversation will eventually drive Congress to look at our broken system and say, 'How do we fix it?'"



September 1, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Icelanders Step Up in Refugee Crisis: Syrian Refugees Welcomed in Iceland


The Telegraph reports -- in a story that is going viral -- that 10,000 Icelanders have offered to welcome Syrian refugees into their homes, as part of a Facebook campaign launched by a prominent author after the government said it would take in only a handful. After the Icelandic government announced last month that it would only accept 50 humanitarian refugees from Syria, Bryndis Bjorgvinsdottir encouraged fellow citizens to speak out in favor of those in need of asylum.

In the space of 24 hours, 10,000 Icelanders – the country’s population is 300,000 – took to Facebook to offer up their homes and urge their government to do more.


September 1, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump campaign video goes after Bush on illegal immigration, saying it's not an 'act of love'

Immigration Article of the Day: Limiting Deterrence: Judicial Resistance to Detention of Asylum-Seekers in Israel and the United States by Michael Kagan


Limiting Deterrence: Judicial Resistance to Detention of Asylum-Seekers in Israel and the United States by Michael Kagan, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law 2015 Texas International Law Journal, Vol. 51, Forthcoming UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper

Abstract: Governments have advanced the argument that asylum-­seekers may be detained in order to deter other would-­be asylum­-seekers from coming. But in recent litigation in the United States and Israel, this justification for mass detention met with significant resistance from courts. This Essay looks at the way the American and Israeli courts dealt with the proposed deterrence rationale for asylum-­seeker detention. It suggests that general deterrence raises three sequential questions: 1. Is deterrence ever legitimate as a stand alone justification for depriving people of liberty? 2. If deterrence is sometimes legitimate, is it valid as a general matter in migration control, or is it limited to certain exceptional circumstances? 3. If deterrence is a legitimate goal, is there any effective proportionality limit on the measures a government may take against asylum­-seekers? The American and Israeli courts did not answer these questions in the same way, and they did not foreclose all potential future uses of deterrence by their respective governments. But they signaled considerable judicial resistance, which may make it more difficult for governments to justify mass detention in the future.


September 1, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 31, 2015

Immigrant Nation, American Success: PhDs and Patents

Vilcek patents

In a time when immigrants are being demonized in some quarters, the Vilcek Foundation seeks to show how the foreign-born population contributes to American research and development. “PhDs and Patents,” the first in an “Immigrant Nation, American Success” infographic series looks at the link between immigrants and innovation. For example, did you know that the majority of patents from America’s top 10 patent-producing universities listed at least one foreign-born inventor?

Many have always believed that immigrants are vital to American progress, but now we’ve got the numbers to back it up! The “Immigrant Nation, American Success” series summarize how the foreign-born fuel scientific and economic development in the U.S. The graphic, “PhDs and Patents,” shows the link between foreign-born graduate students in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and innovation in American research and development. Studies by organizations such as the World Bank, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the bipartisan Partnership for a New American Economy have projected that the nation gains 62 patent applications for every 100 international students who receive science or engineering PhDs from American universities, and that, on average, 2.62 jobs are created for every foreign-born graduate with an advanced degree from a U.S. university who stays to work in a STEM field.


August 31, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Freedom University Celebrates Five Years, Welcomes Record Number of Students!

Freedom university

On August 30, 2015, Freedom University opened its doors for its fifth anniversary year, welcoming a new class of undocumented students for the Fall 2015 semester! The average class size is typically 25-30 students.  This year, a record 75 students registered for class.

Despite the unexpected tripling of our class size, Freedom U staff and volunteers stepped up to meet the challenge: we prepared three times as many class binders, we coordinated three times as many volunteer drivers, we ordered three times as many pizzas, and we set up three times as many chairs, filling every inch of our classroom. The result was beautiful: students filed in by the dozen, each beaming with excitement as they felt the indescribable energy of being in a safe space where young people shape history.

In addition to the record number of students, this year’s class is also the most diverse: Freedom University students came to the United States from four continents, with countries of origin including Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Venezuela, Colombia, Uruguay, Peru, Ghana, and South Korea.

Based in Atlanta, Freedom University is inspired by the legacy of the Southern Freedom School tradition. It provides tuition-free education, college application and scholarship assistance, and tangible movement skillbuilding to undocumented students banned from public higher education in Georgia. 


August 31, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Donald Trump meet Wong Kim Ark, the Chinese American cook who is the father of ‘birthright citizenship’

From the Bookshelves: Mama's Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation by Edwidge Danticat


Mama's Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation by Edwidge Danticat 

Release date:  September 1, 2015

A touching tale of parent-child separation and immigration, from a National Book Award finalist

After Saya's mother is sent to an immigration detention center, Saya finds comfort in listening to her mother's warm greeting on their answering machine. To ease the distance between them while she’s in jail, Mama begins sending Saya bedtime stories inspired by Haitian folklore on cassette tape. Moved by her mother's tales and her father's attempts to reunite their family, Saya writes a story of her own—one that just might bring her mother home for good. With stirring illustrations, this tender tale shows the human side of immigration and imprisonment—and shows how every child has the power to make a difference.

Danticat was born in Haiti. When she was two, her father immigrated to New York, to be followed two years later by her mother Rose.  This left Danticat and her younger brother to be raised by her aunt and uncle. Although her formal education in Haiti was in French, she spoke Haitian Creole at home. While in Haiti, Danticat began writing. At age 12, she moved to Brooklyn to join her parents in a heavily Haitian American neighborhood. Edwidge's disorientation to her new surroundings was a source of discomfort for her, and she turned to literature for solace.


August 31, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)