Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Immigration @ AALS 2022

Blue-pyramid-aals-logo

Registration for the AALS conference is up and running.

This year's conference features a number of exciting panels on immigration:

  • Wednesday January 5, 3:10 – 4:25 PM (Eastern): The Crisis of Afghanistan
  • Thursday January 6, 3:10 – 4:25 PM (Eastern): Law Students and Faculty Rising to the Challenge: Responding to the Afghan Crisis
  • Friday, January 7, 2-3 PM (Eastern): Immigration Law social
  • Friday, January 7, 3:10-4:25 PM (Eastern): Immigrant Advocacy Inside and Outside Agencies, Courts, and Legislatures
  • Friday, January 7, 4:45-6:00 PM (Eastern): New Voices in Immigration Law. This WIP session will focus on papers by Sabrina Balgamwalla (ICE Transfers as a Dimension of Immigration Detention) and Faiza W. Sayed (Secret Law at the Board of Immigration Appeals). Papers will be distributed ahead of time to readers -- just contact me about it.
  • Saturday, January 8, 3:10-4:25 PM (Eastern): Immigration, Equality, and Security: The Biden Administration’s First Year and Beyond. This is our section's plenary session and will feature discussion with the Director of USCIS Ur M. Jaddou (!!!!!) and Amanda Frost (American WCL), moderated by Lucas Guttentag (Stanford). Woot. Woot.

-KitJ

December 1, 2021 in Conferences and Call for Papers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: What is exploitation and workplace abuse?’ A classification schema to understand exploitative workplace behaviour towards migrant workers by Anna Boucher

The Immigration Article of the Day was just published in New Political Economy by Dr. Anna Boucher and titled: "What is exploitation and workplace abuse?’ A classification schema to understand exploitative workplace behaviour towards migrant workers."

Here is the abstract:

Migrant workers and domestic workers more broadly, suffer multiple forms of exploitation but the interaction of these forms lacks theorisation. The scholarship on exploitation includes modern slavery studies, Marxism and aligned accounts of unfreedom that help clarify the position of migrant workers. Yet, none of these accounts exhaust the array of exploitative practices that migrant workers face and these approaches often privilege economic violations over other types. This paper argues that a five-type classification schema – adding criminal infringement, denial of leave entitlements, safety violations and discrimination to economic violations – best encompasses the exploitation that migrant workers experience. Drawing upon a new database of 907 court cases litigated by 1912 migrant workers in four countries, it demonstrates that while economic violations predominate they often interact with these other four types of abuse. It suggests that both policy analysis and theoretical accounts of exploitation and abuse should address a broader array of workplace violations, which may provide a jumping-off point for further empirical studies of exploitation.

IE

December 1, 2021 in Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

CMS Webinar on pending legislation for legalization (December 9, 2021) - VIRTUAL

Please join the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) and the Ready to Stay Coalition from 1:00 – 2:15 ET on December 9th for a webinar and discussion of the forthcoming CMS report, Ready to Stay: A Comprehensive Analysis of the US Foreign-Born Populations Eligible for Special Legal Status Programs and for Legalization under Pending Bills.

The report’s authors, Donald Kerwin, José Pacas, and Robert Warren, will share key findings, data methodology, and policy recommendations. Angelica Salas, CHIRLA and Nicole Melaku, NPNA will share remarks on behalf of the Ready to Stay Coalition.

CMS panel on legalization

MHC

December 1, 2021 in Conferences and Call for Papers, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Book Talk: Driving While Brown: Sheriff Jeff Arpaio Versus the Latino Resistance

For more than a decade Arizona has been among the most prominent—if not the most prominent—site of the contested politics of immigration. To reflect on Arizona’s place in the development of immigration law and policy, Cesar Garcia Hernandez, Ohio State (formerly Denver Sturm Law School), will speak with Jude Joffe-Block and Terry Greene Sterling about their new book Driving While Brown: Sheriff Joe Arpaio Versus the Latino Resistance. NPR recently included the book in its list of best books of 2021. The event takes place on Tuesday, December 7, at 12:00 pm Eastern during an hour-long event called Chronicling Arizona’s Immigration Politics and is part of the Charlas on Migration series. It is free, open to the public, and accessible online, but registration is required.

MHC (h/t CGH)

December 1, 2021 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

No Holds Barred in the U.S. Congress? Another video shows Rep. Lauren Boebert suggesting Rep. Ilhan Omar was terrorist

 

CNN reports that Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) suggested to a crowd last September that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), whom she called "black-hearted" and "evil," was a terrorist. She also said that she felt safe around Omar because the Democrat wasn't wearing a backpack while they were in an elevator together. It was another instance in which Boebert suggested Omar, who is Muslim and wears a hijab, was a terrorist.

On Monday, the two lawmakers sent dueling statements about a phone call between the pair set up by Boebert after she apologized last week to "to anyone in the Muslim community I offended," when similar comments surfaced on social media.

The video of Boebert's anti-Muslim comments, made in New York at a September Staten Island Conservative Party dinner, were posted on Facebook that month by an attendee. Rep. Boebert suggested Rep. Ilhan Omar was terrorist in anti-Muslim remarks at event "One of my I staffers, on his first day with me, got into an elevator in the Capitol. And in that elevator, we were joined by Ilhan Omar," Boebert told the crowd in September. "It was just us three in there and I looked over and I said, well, lookey there, it's the Jihad Squad. "She doesn't have a backpack, she wasn't dropping it and running so we're good," Boebert adds, through laughter and applause from the crowd. At the September event, Boebert also disparaged Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Minnesota, another Muslim member of Congress. "Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. These are just black-hearted evil women," Boebert said.

Yesterday, Boebert and Omar spoke on the phone. "I have reflected on my previous remarks, now as a strong Christian woman who values faith deeply I never want anything I say to offend someone's religion," Boebert said in a video posted to Instagram. Boebert said Omar asked her to publicly apologize which she would not do and instead challenged Omar to issue an apology of her own for some of the comments she has made in the past.

After the call, Omar appeared with Reps. Andre Carson and Rashida Tlaib, the two other Muslim members of the House, calling on Republican leadership to condemn Boebert for her conduct. During the press conference, Omar shared a graphic voicemail she says she received hours after her phone call with Boebert:

"We see you Muslim sand [n-word] b****. We know what you're up to. You're all about taking over our country. Don't worry, there's plenty that will love the opportunity to take you off the face of this f****** Earth. Come get it, b****, you f****** Muslim piece of s***. You jihadist. We know what you are. You're a f****** traitor. You will not live much longer," a male voice is heard saying. The message goes on to talk about "we the people" "rising up" and Omar appearing before a military tribunal.

Representative Omar released the following statement about the controversy.

KJ

December 1, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

International Organization for Migration, World Migration Report 2022

 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) today launched its flagship World Migration Report 2022 which reveals a dramatic increase in internal displacement due to disasters, conflict and violence at a time when global mobility ground to a halt due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

"We are witnessing a paradox not seen before in human history,” said IOM's Director General António Vitorino. “While billions of people have been effectively grounded by COVID-19, tens of millions of others have been displaced within their own countries.”

The number of air passengers globally dropped 60 per cent in 2020 to 1.8 billion (down from 4.5 billion in 2019) while at the same time internal displacement due to disaster, conflict and violence rose to 40.5 million (up from 31.5 million in 2019).

The report draws upon the latest data from around the world to explain key migration trends as well as issues that are emerging on the migration policy horizon.

The report can be downloaded here.

KJ

December 1, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Southern Poverty Law Center Podcast: The Unwelcome -- Hate Along the U.S./Mexico Border

330px-SPLC_Logo.svg

Today the Southern Poverty Law Center launched “The Unwelcome,” the fifth episode from season three of its latest Sounds Like Hate podcast series. The episode looks at migrant mistreatment and deaths; humanitarians fighting for better conditions for migrants; and extremist activity on the U.S. southern border. 

Here is a description of the episode:

"In Part I of `The Unwelcome,' we’re on the southern border in Arizona, where armed militia groups stalk migrants traversing harsh desert conditions. In some cases, militia members arm themselves with guns, scopes and motion activated video cameras seek to capture migrants and destroy their water sources, putting migrants’ lives at an even steeper risk. These militias have even harassed humanitarian organizations who help migrants, claiming their activities are patriotic. Despite decades of Civil Rights triumphs, migrants seeking refuge in the U.S. are subjected to torment by these militias without the same protections under the law that U.S. citizens are afforded. "

KJ

November 30, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thousands comment on DACA proposed rule

The Biden administration's proposed rule to reinforce the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program has attracted more than 15,000 responses ahead of the deadline for public comments, with many calling for broader changes than the regulations set out [Updated count on November 30, 2021]. Comments can be viewed here; they were due November 29, 2021.

 

MHC

November 30, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

ACUS Panels on expanding access to regulatory agencies

The Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) will host two panels on expanding access to regulatory agencies.

November 29, is the final panel in the ACUS Forum on Underserved Communities and the Regulatory Process. Sidney Shapiro will moderate a panel, Expanding on Efforts to Engage with Underserved Communities, featuring J. Latrice Hill (Farm Service Agency), Amit Narang (Public Citizen), and Viviana Westbrook (Catholic Legal Immigration Network). The panel takes place 3:30 – 4:30 pm ET.

Panelists will examine ways agencies can ensure that they incorporate the perspectives of underserved communities, that members of underserved communities feel confident their perspectives are meaningfully considered, and that initial community-engagement efforts function as building blocks for more durable relationships and regular engagement. Register here to attend.

A related forum, Enhancing Public Input in Agency Rulemaking, takes place this Wednesday, December 1, from 1 – 4 pm ET. Through two panels and additional remarks, leading experts will consider what types of public input are most valuable to agencies and how agencies can structure the rulemaking process to receive that input. Panelists will examine best practices under the notice-and-comment process and possible reforms that would enhance the value of public input.

A complete program appears below and online. Register here to attend.

MHC

November 30, 2021 in Conferences and Call for Papers, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Broken Promise: Biden Administration’s continued use of Title 42 expulsions

Guest blogger: Justin Colón, law student, University of San Francisco:

At the onset of the pandemic, the Trump Administration (through the CDC) authorized US Customs and Border Protection to immediately remove anyone entering the country (without having to follow the usual process required for removal) in order to prevent the spread of COVID. These Title 42 removals could occur even if the removed individual had a valid asylum, humanitarian, or other claims for entry into the US. Thus, Title 42 has been used to sidestep the usual removal and asylum process contained in the INA. While the CDC order regarding Title 42 does not apply to [2]  Prior the use of Title 42, migrants who attempted to enter at the border would either be subject to a Credible Fear Interview if seeking asylum or, if they successfully entered without inspection, would receive a formal notice of deportation/removal. Instead, BP agents would take migrant’s biometric information and perform a health check for COVID symptoms before the migrant is removed to their country of origin. Despite Title 42’s ostensibly public health justification, experts at the CDC stated that the new removal policy would actually do little to limit the spread of COVID. As with most immigration policies, migrants from Mexico and Central America were those primarily affected.What exactly is Title 42? Title 42 authorizes the Surgeon General (now the CDC), acting in accordance with regulations approved by the President, to prohibit, in part or whole, the entry of any person into the US in order to prevent the spread of communicable disease.[1] Originally enacted in 1944, Title 42 was rarely used until the COVID-19 pandemic for obvious reasons. While on its face, the use of Title 42 to prohibit entry into the US ostensibly reads as sound policy, the reality is, as always, much more complicated.

One of Biden’s many campaign promises was to end the various draconic Trump-era immigration policies. The Biden Administration’s commitment to this promise (or lack thereof) is best reflected by the continued use of Title 42 to remove migrants at the border, stating that it is “necessary to limit the spread of the coronavirus.” The numbers of migrants expelled under Title 42 are alarming—in the 2021 fiscal year among the more than 1.7 million people detained by BP, 61% were expelled under Title 42.[3] While the original Title 42 order has been amended several times[4] the order remains largely the same as previous orders under the Trump Administration. Perhaps the most concerning issue is the potential to use Title 42 to remove lawful permanent residents and even citizens[5]. Courts have noted that the power the government claims under Title 42 as “breathtaking broad” and circumvents Congress’s plenary power to remove non-citizens.[6] Here, the public health justifications for continued use of Title 42 to deny entry and remove migrants at the border is not supported by the science and politically motivated.[7] Most public health experts agree that is the unvaccinated—and not migrants entering into the US—that are driving the rise in new COVID infections. The continued use of Title 42 fuels the rhetoric that migrants are the cause for new infections and in an era of hype-partisanship is detrimental to comprehensive immigration reform and policy. 

With the constant threat of new coronavirus variants and no end in sight to the ongoing pandemic, the continued use of Title 42 to ostensibly protect “public health” has the potential to dramatically shape immigration policies going forward. Public health policy must reflect scientific data and not be fueled by political rhetoric. Title 42 prevents those with valid asylum claims or humanitarian claims form seeking those forms of relief. This flies in the face of the current administrations claim that the Title 42 restrictions protect the migrants themselves—many of those fleeing persecution will be returned to the very source of their prosecution. How this protects migrants is a mystery to me. The Biden Administration needs to honor its promise to those seeking entry into the US, many of whom have valid asylum claims, and stop the use of Title 42 removals.

 

[1] 42 U.S.C. § 265

[2] A Guide to Title 42 Expulsions at the Border – Fact Sheet, AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL (Oct. 15, 2021).

[3] https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/southwest-land-border-encounters-by-component

[4] Most importantly, under the current administration’s interpretation, unaccompanied minors are exempt from a Title 42 removal. Parents traveling with their children and single adults are still blocked from entering the country.

[5] See Final Rule, 85 Fed. Reg. at 56,448

[6] See P.J.E.S. by and through Escobar Francisco v. Wolf, 502 F.Supp.3d 492 at 539 (D.D.C 2020), (granting injunction to class of plaintiffs, consisting of unaccompanied minors, which enjoined the government from expelling the class members from Title 42 expulsion.)

[7] See Anika Baskter, MD, et.al, Letter to CDC Director Walensky, HHS Secretary Becerra, and DHS Secretary Mayorkas on the August 2021 Title 42 Order (Sept. 1, 2021); See also Dr. Anthony Fauci  Oct. 3 CNN interview (“My feeling [on Title 42] has always been that focusing on immigrants, expelling them … is not the solution to an outbreak.”)

bh

November 30, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

At the Movies: Found (Netflix). A guest post by Minyao Wang, Esq.

 

Guest Post by Minyao Wang, Esq.

I highly recommend the Netflix documentary “Found.”  It does an outstanding job of raising complex questions about identity, inclusion, representation and tracing one’s roots in the context of transracial adoption.  The film opens with a Jewish-American family from Seattle celebrating the bat mitzvah of their daughter.  The teenager, Chloe Lipitz, was adopted from China when she was 15 months old.  Chloe soon discovers via genetic testing that she has two biological cousins, Sadie Mangelsdorf of Nashville and Lily Bolka of Oklahoma City, who have also been separately adopted by Americans in the mid-2000s.  The cousins’ improbable arrivals in the United States can be traced to China’s one-child policy which has been enforced with the brutality that only a totalitarian system can muster.  State-sponsored coercion, including the frequent use of physical violence, combined with the country’s deep poverty and traditional preference for boys, has forced many Chinese parents to abandon their newly-born baby girls in public places.  The Chinese government scoops up the foundlings and “off-loads” the healthier ones to foreign families in exchange for a “donation.”  From 1999 to 2016, almost 300,000 Chinese babies were adopted by parents from the wealthy democracies; about 1/3 of them ended up in the U.S.

With financial and emotional support from their adoptive parents, the three cousins in “Found” launch a journey to learn more about the facts of their birth and subsequent abandonment.  They hire an English-speaking researcher based in Beijing, Liu Hao, as their eyes and ears on the ground.  Ms. Liu is only a few years older than her clients.  It does not take much to locate candidates who could be the cousins’ biological parents, based on when and where they abandoned their baby girls years ago in a town situated 150 miles northwest of Hong Kong.  Ms. Liu takes their saliva samples to see if there is a genetic match (no spoilers here!).  Adding to the dystopian theme, Ms. Liu discloses on camera that as a baby she too was almost abandoned by her parents.  As for Chole, Sadie and Lily, their bewilderment while in China is palpable.  For them, visiting China is like walking into a parallel universe--the very different lives that would have been theirs had there been no adoption.  Tell-tale signs of a chronic food shortage are everywhere.  In the land of their birth, the comfortable American middle-class life that they each enjoy is simply unimaginable.

The adoption of Chinese baby girls by American families is one direct U.S. immigration consequence of China’s draconian family planning program.  Another consequence is the amendment by Congress in 1996 of the refugee definition to provide asylum protection to Chinese parents who have been forced by their government to undergo an abortion or sterilization (that is worthy of a separate post in the future!).  

KJ

November 30, 2021 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Proposed DACA Rule Attracts More Than 9000 Comments

According to the news reports, the Biden administration's proposed rule attracted more than 9,300 responses ahead of  yesterday's deadline for comments.

A coalition of 24 state attorneys general led by California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed comments in support of DACA.  "While congressional action is needed to permanently address the treatment of individuals who arrived in the United States as children, have grown up and gone to school here, and know only the United States as home, the proposed rule is an important step to address the pressing needs of grantees, their families, their communities, and their states pending such legislation," the attorneys general wrote.  Representing states including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., the comments touted the benefits afforded the states by DACA recipients.  A copy of the comment letter is available here.
 
Update (November 30) (2:45 P.M. PST):  The University of California, which successfully challenged the Trump administration's attempt to rescind DACA submitted comments on the proposed DACA rule.  See here and here.
 
KJ

 

November 30, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

News Reports: New Caravan Heads North From Southern Mexico

 

Beginning in the Trump administration, reports of caravans of migrants from the South have regularly (for example, here and here) made the news.  With caravan reports so consistently in the news and with so little ultimately coming of them, it is difficult to know whether the caravan reports should be of much concern to Americans or, for that matter, in the news.

Jose Luis Gonzalez for Reuters reports offers the latest caravan report:

"Some 2,000 migrants and asylum seekers departed the southern Mexican city of Tapachula near the Guatemalan border overnight on Sunday in the latest in a series of caravans setting out for the United States. . . . The majority of its members were families from Central America and the Caribbean fleeing violence, poverty and growing hunger crises in their home countries. . . . For months, migrants and human rights advocates have denounced the `prison-like' conditions in Tapachula. Under Mexican rules, migrants must wait to process their claims - often for months - before being able to relocate to other parts of the country without fear of deportation. . . . Last week, the Mexican government transported hundreds of migrants from Tapachula to other states in efforts to head off the formation of more caravans. But tens of thousands of migrants still remain in the city."

As the latest Mexican government response to migrants suggests, it has been cooperating with the United States on immigration enforcement.  The U.S. government has sought Mexico to attempt to reduce migration from the South

KJ

November 30, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

At the Movies: Under the Heavens (2021)

 

The 2021 film Under the Heavens is described by IMDb as follows:  "Marta, a young Venezuelan mother, is immigrating to Brazil when she meets a struggling young couple with a baby girl. Her ability to breastfeed causes their fates to become forever entwined."

A review in the New Yorker describes the film as ”address[ing] the larger humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, but in a subtle way."

KJ

November 30, 2021 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 29, 2021

Celtics Player Naturalizes, Changes Name

Celtics player Enes Kanter, now Enes Kanter Freedom, became a naturalized U.S. citizen today. (He also changed his name!) Freedom was born in Switzerland and was raised in Turkey. He's been outspoken critic of Turkey as we've noted on the blog before (here, here).

-KitJ

November 29, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Secretive Prisons that Keep Migrants out of Europe, from Ian Urbina at The New Yorker

The December 7, 2021 issue of The New Yorker has an article by Ian Urbina titled "The Secretive Prisons That Keep Migrants Out of Europe" that is definitely of interest to those studying migration and detention. Urbina writes: "Tired of migrants arriving from Africa, the E.U. has created a shadow immigration system that captures them before they reach its shores, and sends them to brutal Libyan detention centers run by militias." This in-depth article is published in collaboration with The Outlaw Ocean Project.

The online version is available here.

IE

November 29, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

France calls for European aid after 27 migrant deaths at sea

 

The Associated Press reported on he "frantic search for a flimsy migrant craft that foundered in the English Channel, killing at least 27."

France and Britain have appealed for European assistance, promised increased efforts to combat human smuggling networks.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent French President Emmanuel Macron and the European Union leadership a letter proposing joint sea, air and land patrols. France has resisted the idea. Johnson also proposed an agreement allowing Britain to send back migrants to France. Macron appealed to neighboring European countries to do more to stop illegal migration into France.

Tensions between France and the UK on the issue are evident.

France is deploying army drones as part of stepped-up efforts to patrol its northern coastline and help rescue migrants at sea.  But President Macron also said that a greater collective effort is needed, referring to France as a “transit country” for Britain-bound migrants. “We need to strengthen cooperation with Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, but also the British and the (European) Commission,” he said on a visit to Croatia. “We need stronger European cooperation.”

Ministers from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Britain and EU officials were scheduled to meet yesterday to discuss increasing efforts to crack down on human smuggling networks.  In light of the tense communications between France and the UK, the British minister reportedly was uninvited to the meeting.

KJ

 

November 29, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

As Omicron variant cases spread, countries rush to impose travel bans

Welcome back travel restrictions!   The United States has restricted restrict travel from South Africa and seven other countries as a new COVID variant emerges.

UPDATE (Nov. 29, 2;45 P.M. PST):   Presidential Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting CoronavirusClick here for the Proclamation.  In it President Biden proclaims that

"Given the recommendation of the CDC, working in close coordination with the Department of Homeland Security, described above, I have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to take action to suspend and restrict the entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of noncitizens of the United States (“noncitizens”) who were physically present within the Republic of Botswana, the Kingdom of Eswatini, the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Republic of Malawi, the Republic of Mozambique, the Republic of Namibia, the Republic of South Africa, and the Republic of Zimbabwe during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States."

KJ

November 29, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

At the Movies: Soledad

 

The fil Soledad's website describes the 2019 New Days Film film as "weav[ing] live action and animation to tell the story of a woman from Central America who fled gang violence to seek asylum in the US."  It also includes this "SYNOPSIS": 

"Soledad tells the story of a young woman from Central America who was imprisoned in the Eloy Detention Facility when she sought asylum in the United States in 2017. Soledad set out on a perilous journey from her homeland after enduring horrific persecution where she was kidnapped, sex-trafficked, tortured and nearly killed.

Attorney Shefali Milczarek-Desai, who took the case pro bono, mobilized a dream team of professional women, all of whom agreed to work for free on the case. Together, they secured Soledad's release from Eloy and ultimately prevailed on her asylum claim in a rare victory for an asylum seeker in the U.S."

Click the link above for details.

KJ

November 29, 2021 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Documented DREAMers

While teaching immigration law, I learned of two college students at the university where I was teaching who were wringing their hands about an immigration issue. The siblings were four years apart in age, and they had come to the US to attend separate colleges on student visas. The older sibling graduated from college, found a job with an employer willing to sponsor a temporary work visa, and took additional courses on the side while applying to professional schools. The younger sibling was a sophomore when his immigrant parents decided to migrate to the US on employment-based visas and applied for green cards for themselves and their family. A grandparent unexpectedly passed, spurring the parents to travel abroad for a hastily-scheduled funeral and to remain longer than expected to assist with the care for the bereaved partner. Before returning to the US, the parents learned they had not obtained proper authorization for their travel and may have trouble re-entering. If they successfully re-entered, the parents' application for a green card may be jeopardized... and if the parents' green card faltered, so might the derivative applications for their college-aged kids. The younger breathed a sigh of relief when the travel issue was resolved. A year later, he received a green card along with his parents. His older sister knew that staying in the US would not be so easy for her; because she was already 21-years old, she would need to find a way to extend her temporary work visa or enroll in another university that would sponsor her student visa. Luckily, she was admitted to a professional school just in the nick of time. Otherwise, she would have needed to return to a home country where her family no longer lived and where she didn't have a job or housing lined up.
 
It's known as "aging out," and according to experts interviewed by CNN about 200,000 people are living in similar situations. Brought legally to the United States as children, as their twenty-first birthdays approach, many scramble to find ways to stay in the country. Some are forced to leave the US if they cannot find a valid way to continue their lives in the US. The CNN story quotes Dip Patel, a 25-year-old pharmacist who has experienced this harsh reality. Patel is the founder of Improve the Dream, a group of young adults who call themselves "documented DREAMers" and who are pressing Congress and the Biden administration to help save their futures.
"The whole situation is something that most people don't really know even exists: that it's possible for an immigrant child to be brought here legally, do all their education here, but still not have a chance to become an American."
A growing number of people are impacted, according to Julia Gelatt, a senior policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute. One groups is impacted by the green card backlog. For immigrants from India, it can take decades for them even to have a chance to apply. During that time, people who came to the US as young children are still waiting for their family's turn by the time they turn 21 and are no longer considered dependents. Consequently, they lose their place in line. A second group come from families whose temporary work visas don't make them eligible to apply to become permanent residents. Because the young adults in these temporary worker families had visas allowing them to live legally in the United States initially, they weren't protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which provided work permits and protection from deportation to other young adults who came to the U.S. as undocumented children.
 
More information on Documented DREAMers and the proposed law they hope Congress will pass, which would give "documented Dreamers" a chance to become permanent residents of the US provided they've lived here for at least 10 years on a valid visa and graduated from an institution of higher education, can be found here and here.
 
 
MHC

November 28, 2021 in Current Affairs, Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)