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21
FEB

US to Launch 'Wealth Test' for Immigrants

Beginning Monday, the Trump administration will subject immigrants to heightened scrutiny based on their perceived likelihood to rely on America's public assistance programs. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports the "public charge rule" got the green light from the U.S. Supreme Court last month pending ongoing litigation and will affect low-income foreign citizens seeking U.S. immigration visas or permanent residency in the United States.
21
FEB

New US Immigration Rule Sparks Questions

After getting a preliminary green light from the U.S. Supreme Court in January, the Trump administration is set to subject immigrants to heightened scrutiny based on their perceived likelihood to rely on America's public assistance programs, what some critics call a wealth test. Beginning Monday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin implementing the public charge rule, under which low-income immigrants can be denied legal residency, visas or admission into the United States. The rule is being challenged in federal courts, but the Supreme Court allowed it to go into effect, pending the outcome of litigation. Which factors will be considered under the public charge rule? Mark Greenberg, senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, said USCIS will be looking at a wide range of factors, including an immigrant's age, education, work history, family structure, English language skills and income. “All trying to make a judgment if this person is likely to use public benefits at some future point in their life,” he said. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services logo.Does the rule apply to all immigrants? The rule does not apply to U.S. residents seeking to become U.S. citizens. It also does not apply to certain U.S. visa holders, including those who are in the United States to assist in the investigation or prosecution of crimes. In addition, U.S. officials have said the public charge interpretation would not apply to people who already have green cards, to certain members of the military, refugees, asylum-seekers, pregnant women or children. Which benefits would cause an immigrant to be regarded as a public charge? Broadly speaking, any federal, state or local cash assistance program, including Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and general assistance programs for income maintenance. In addition, use of programs designed to help the poor afford food, housing and medical expenses could also trigger a public charge finding. What formula will USCIS use to determine a public charge? A person may be deemed a public charge if he or she has used one or more public benefits for more than 12 months within any 36-month period. Under the rule, receiving two benefits in one month counts as two months of consuming public resources. What types of visas will fall under the rule? According to USCIS, the rule will apply to all applicants for any type of visa and people within the United States who hold nonimmigrant visas “and seek to extend their stay in the same nonimmigrant classification or to change their status ...
16
JAN

Marymount Provides Scholarships for DACA Recipients

Since the program was initiated nearly a decade ago, recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, have not been eligible for federal financial aid because they are not American citizens. But just last year, a small university in Virginia successfully pushed to be included on a list of a small number of American schools offering a private scholarship to help DACA students pay for their tuition. VOA's Esha Sarai went to Marymount University to find out more
03
JAN

DC Restaurant Gives The US Capital The Taste Of Immigrant Food

Hundreds of new restaurants mushroom in Washington every year, but the "Immigrant Food" restaurant that recently opened just a block away from the White House is unique. On top of making a delicious statement, it also makes a political one, serving food inspired by the many immigrant communities that live in the U.S. Mykhailo Komadovsky visited the unusual venue
28
NOV
2019

VOA Interview: US Ambassador to El Salvador Ronald Johnson

The new U.S. ambassador to El Salvador says the United States is looking forward to reintegrating migrants there from other Central American nations who are seeking asylum in the United States. Ambassador Ronald Johnson, speaking in his first interview since his appointment in July, told VOA there was not a timeline on when El Salvador would start taking in migrants. “I don't have a timeline on it, but I do think that the intent is that it will be implemented in a way that is not burdensome to any of the countries,” Johnson said. 
07
NOV
2019

San Gabriel Valley a Mecca for Asian Americans

The capital of Asia America is one description used for an area spanning 36 kilometers just east of downtown Los Angeles, called the San Gabriel Valley. Close to half a million Asians live in this region. It's an Asian enclave where nine cities in the area are majority-Asian. VOA's Elizabeth Lee has more on why so many Asians live there and the countries they represent.
28
SEP
2019

Senate Deals Wall Setback, but Trump May Still Win on Border

The U.S. Senate has voted again to block President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration and his plan to divert $3.6 billion from military projects to extend wall construction along the U.S.-Mexico border. Despite the setback, Trump could win a larger narrative on border security — an important issue for his supporters going into next year's election. White House Correspondent Patsy Widakuswara has more.
 
18
SEP
2019

Polarized Politics Increases Divide Over Who Is a Real American

In the United States, the growing political divide along ethnic lines, along with President Donald Trump’s racially charged rhetoric, are renewing debate over what it means to be an American.  The growing divide and rising ethnic tensions come amid a time of rapid demographic change in the country.  White European-Americans are projected to lose their majority status by 2045, to be eclipsed by the growing populations of Hispanic Americans, African Americans, and Asian Americans.  “Demographic shifts are certainly fueling animosity but it's more about, in essence, white people feeling they're losing control of their country,” said Andre Perry, a scholar and commentator on issues of race, structural inequality and education at both the Brookings Institution and American University in Washington.Former President Barack Obama seemed to foreshadow a new demographic alignment in the U.S. when he won two decisive election victories in 2008 and 2012, with surging support from minority voters, in addition to winning over large numbers working class whites, traditionally affiliated with the Democratic Party. Immigration rhetoricMany of those same Democrats switched in 2016 to help elect Donald Trump as president, however, galvanized in key battleground states to support the head of the Republican ticket in part because he made illegal immigration a key campaign issue.   Trump, his critics say, also stoked ethnic tensions by engaging in racially charged rhetoric, referring to undocumented Mexican immigrants as criminals and calling for a “total and complete” immigration ban on all Muslims following a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, that was carried out by a Pakistani-born immigrant.While in office, the president has continued to single out minority groups for criticism. Trump denounced African American football players for kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and inequality in the country. He refused to strongly condemn a neo-Nazi and white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned violent. And he questioned the loyalty to the country of two Muslim American congresswomen who a support a boycott movement against U.S. ally Israel over its occupation of Palestinian territories.Trump’s defenders dismiss charges of racism against the president. They say Trump's political strategy is to tie the Democratic Party to what he sees as its most unpopular issues and divisive leaders, adding that Trump's reflex is to fiercely attack all critics.“President Trump, I think is an equal opportunity insulter. Anybody who raises his ire or criticizes him is liable to be insulted regardless of race, ...
14
SEP
2019

Voices of Migrants: Returned to Mexico

VOA reporters Victoria Macchi and Ramon Taylor spoke with a broad sampling of migrants and asylum-seekers in early August. Many departed their home countries months before U.S. policy changes went into effect, under assumptions that no long apply. All are awaiting immigration court hearings. Here are some of their stories.
14
SEP
2019

Voices of Migrants: Fleeing Violence, Crime

VOA reporters Victoria Macchi and Ramon Taylor spoke with a broad sampling of migrants and asylum-seekers in early August. Many departed their home countries months before U.S. policy changes went into effect, under assumptions that no long apply. All are awaiting immigration court hearings. Here are some of their stories.
14
SEP
2019

Voices of Migrants: Detained at the US-Mexico Border

VOA reporters Victoria Macchi and Ramon Taylor spoke with a broad sampling of migrants and asylum-seekers in early August. Many departed their home countries months before U.S. policy changes went into effect, under assumptions that no long apply. All are awaiting immigration court hearings. Here are some of their stories.

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