Articles Tagged with Immigration Policy

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Going to college is a costly pursuit. In addition to the inherent financial and intellectual challenges presented by the ambition, unfortunately students like Melvis Madrigal, a 20 year old who graduated from Robertson High School in 2013 with a 4.0 grade point average, find themselves facing an uphill battle just to continue their education past high school.

For a student like Madrigal, the current higher education system is not accessible, since someone’s citizenship status (or lack thereof) will ultimately determine the ease with which a respectable degree can be pursued. Madrigal is neither a legal resident nor a US citizen, despite living in Asheville for 14 years. He cannot obtain in-state tuition and he is not eligible to receive any form of financial aid from the government. “It has definitely created a huge hardship. And I know that it is not just me,” he said.

College tuition for out-of-state students is very high; in fact, it’s 3-4 times higher than in-state tuition. For many families, this alone makes college unaffordable.

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Cuba and the United States recently discussed immigration policy during high level talks on Jan 21. The US continues to offer a safe haven for Cuban nationals with added protections, many of which are usually denied to people from other nationalities. The Cuban government contends that the policy encourages medical practitioners to defect to the US and claims that it is a “reprehensible brain drain practice.”

While ongoing talks have helped to restore diplomatic ties between the two countries, Cuba in particular has objected to the immigration policy adopted by the United States government. As per the Cuban Adjustment Act, more than 25,000 individuals were welcomed into the country without visas in 2014 alone.  On average, 20,000 Cubans are provided with visas each year.

The US government has vowed to continue following the “wet foot/dry foot” policy, which means that Cuban nationals who are stopped at sea by law enforcement officials are returned back to their homeland but those who manage to set foot on US soil are granted permission to stay.

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It has been approximately one month since Barack Obama announced his plan to allow amnesty to eligible undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States and in that time it appear as though the Democratic Party is on the upswing following a less-than-favorable midterm election. The reason is not because the President’s plan for deferred deportation went over well with the general public. In fact, the plan was overwhelmingly opposed by the vast majority of American adults according to several polls. Where it is popular, however, is with the nation’s Hispanic community which is decidedly relevant and which has proven that it clearly has a vested interest in the issue.

Increased Support Among Hispanics

The reason Democrats will benefit from such overwhelming support from a “minority” group is that the Hispanic community in the US is only a minority in the technical sense of the word. That is to say, they are hardly a minority anymore and when it comes to immigration reform, they are the ones who care about the issue. That is enough to make them a collective force in how things play out. According to a poll conducted by Pew Research recently, more than 80 percent of Hispanics said they supported the President’s plan. In another Gallup poll, nearly 54 percent expressed support for the plan.

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