Advocates for the African diaspora in the United States have stepped up a campaign to urge the U.S. Congress not to end a longstanding visa programme aimed at boosting immigration from “underrepresented countries”.
The programme, known as the diversity visa lottery, has in recent years been sharply tilted towards African immigration. Since 2008, immigrants from African countries have made up nearly half of the 55,000 randomly awarded U.S. work visas annually awarded.
Many in the crowd of San Francisco May Day marchers wore butterfly wings; the Monarch butterfly migrates to Mexico and then back to the U.S. every year. Credit: Judith Scherr/IPS
More than 1,000 people marched under the brilliant San Francisco sun on May Day. Their signs, such as “Work in America/Live in America/Dream in America. Immigration reform now,” their songs, chants and speeches wove together the twin themes of the day: worker justice and immigrant justice.
Challenges are mounting to a key U.S. immigration enforcement programme that requires local police to share the fingerprints of individuals they arrest, triggering a federal investigation into the immigration status of the detainee.
Introduced in 2008, the Secure Communities programme (S-Comm) rapidly expanded over the next four years utilising approximately 750 million dollars allotted to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the programme.
A long-awaited legislative proposal to reform the United States’ immigration system is sparking frustration on both the left and right here, but is widely being seen as a centrist compromise bill that will now energise all sides as debate in Congress begins Friday.
The massive overhaul plan, released Wednesday by a bipartisan group of eight senators, offers nearly 900 pages of changes.
Rodrigo Javier Diaz Guzman was a fairly typical Berkeley, California kid. He loved playing baseball and video games, enjoyed school and got good grades, watched Ninjago on TV, and ate take-out burritos and Chinese food whenever he could.
His mother was one of those parents who always showed up at school with snacks for field trips and came along to help if she could get away from work.
Rights groups and government officials here have been testifying in a string of hearings, before both bodies of the U.S. Congress, on how to overhaul the United States’ huge immigration detention system, the scope of which has expanded massively in recent years in ways that some suggest impinge on civil and human rights.
According to official estimates, the federal government will detain some 400,000 people on immigration charges this year, at a cost of around two billion dollars.
Papua New Guinean opposition leader Belden Namah has launched legal proceedings against an Australian detention centre for asylum seekers in Manus province of this South Pacific island nation.
Namah argues that the detention centre is illegal and the conditions there are inhumane. The move adds further weight to international human rights concerns about Australia’s offshore immigration detention policy and could pave the way for closure of the centre.
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators on Monday unveiled a set of principles that will serve as an initial framework for a legislative push that many are increasingly optimistic could result in the largest overhaul of the country’s immigration system in decades.
While the exact details of any future legislation will take months to be formulated, some advocates are warning that too much emphasis is being placed on enforcing security along the U.S.
Maria Lourdes, a Cuban, has two passports, one from the island and another from Spain, but until now traveling was only a dream.
“With the new regulations it will be easier, because as a Spanish citizen I don’t need a visa to leave, but to get to the United States I will still have to go through another country,” she told IPS.
In order to take advantage of a historic new migration policy that came into effect in Cuba on Monday, Jan.
The United States government is spending more on immigration enforcement each year than it is on all other federal law-enforcement agencies combined, according to the first comprehensive look at how the country’s sprawling immigration complex has grown over the past decade.
Likewise, on a daily basis the U.S. immigration system has more people in detention – around 430,000 in fiscal year 2011 – than the entire federal prisons system.