In 2011, a young Moldovan woman came to the U.S. on a student visa to attend college. Last year, she decided to seek an adjustment to her immigration status and stay here long term. A competitive ballroom dancer since age 11, she had won a world championship in 2005 at age 15. She competed across Eastern Europe with a world-class ranking and had begun to teach. She wanted to continue her dance career in the U.S., so she petitioned to be considered an "alien of extraordinary ability."
If you're a Filipino national living lawfully in the U.S. or naturalized citizen of Filipino origin, you may have been personally affected by Typhoon Haiyan, called Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines. If you have lost loved ones, please accept our sincere condolences.
Some unsettling news has been reported about the U.S. Border Patrol in the Rochester area. A New York University study shows that agents received bonuses in the form of cash and even gift cards for arresting immigrants believed to be in the country without legal permission. The incentive program, which the Border Patrol denies exists, has resulted in the arrest of hundreds of immigrants who did in fact have refugee status, visas or political asylum.
Undocumented immigrants throughout the United States have their eyes on lawmakers as they try to agree on much-needed immigration reform. Since President Obama's electoral victory, which garnered 71 percent of the nation's Latino vote, Democrats and Republicans alike have been searching for a way to reform immigration policy.
So far, 2013 promises to be a big year in terms of immigration reform. As New York's Governor Cuomo prepares for his State of the State speech on Jan. 8, young undocumented immigrants have taken to the phone lines and the governor's Twitter account. These young immigrants want the governor to address the New York State Dream Act.
Education is important for U.S. citizens and immigrants alike. In some states, young people who were brought to the U.S. when they were young face special difficulties in paying for their education. One major barrier for undocumented immigrants has been the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition. When you have in-state status, you can pay a lower tuition rate, but not all states give in-state status to young immigrants.
What if, under recently passed immigration law, a young immigrant qualifies to remain in the United States but will have a hard time proving eligibility? That is the plight faced by many young immigrants in New York and throughout the country.
An executive order made by President Obama may cost more than $585 million to implement. Last month, the Administration announced that young, illegal immigrants will be granted temporary work permits instead of being deported. An estimated one million requests are expected each year.
As we've discussed in earlier posts this year (June 13, March 21) the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act, has garnered a lot of attention and raised many hopes this year. The federal legislation would give permanent resident status to undocumented students and military service members brought illegally to the U.S. by their parents. Because Congress has been unable to pass the bill at the federal level, many states have attempted to adopt their own versions, including New York.
A new study released yesterday by the Partnership for a New American Economy shows that 76 percent of all new patents in the United States come from immigrant students, postdoctoral fellows or staff researched at our nation's top universities. Keeping all those bright minds in the country is a problem, because our immigration laws make it difficult on those seeking to start their own business after graduation.