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Poll
Q. What is your stance on RAISE, a recently introduced bill to curb legal immigration?
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 Feature Article
Tuesday August 15

Asian-Americans Have A Lot To Lose If GOP Legal Immigration Bill Is Passed: Experts

Asian-American activists are standing firmly against the recently introduced bill to curb legal immigration. 

Advocacy groups have been speaking out against the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act (RAISE), an immigration bill President Donald Trump endorsed on Wednesday. In addition to discontinuing the visa lottery program and limiting the number of refugees to enter the country, the bill would eliminate the prioritization of green cards for adult children and extended family of those already in the states.

It would also favor applicants who “can speak English, financially support themselves and their families and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy,” Trump said at a White House event beside Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.)

And the legislation isn’t sitting right with Asian-American groups who believe it’s part of a larger strategy to scapegoat immigrants.

“The overwhelming message is that these Congressmen and the administration want to marginalize immigrants and people of color,” John C. Yang, president & executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC, told HuffPost. “They are attempting to legislate hate and discrimination and frankly keep America majority white.”

Yang pointed out that RAISE would disproportionately affect the Asian-American community. The minority is the fastest growing racial group in the U.S. and two-thirds of the community are immigrants. The overwhelming majority of Asian immigrants come to the U.S. through the family-based system, reports show. Those who come to the country on employment-based visas often rely on the family-based system to reunite with other family members. 

However the bill would cut family-based immigrant visas to 88,000 each year ― compare that to the 673,000 people who received green cards through the family based system during the 2015 fiscal year alone. These restrictions feel particularly painful for Asian-Americans as the proposed policy hearkens back to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the first significant U.S. law to restrict immigration, Annie Wang, staff attorney at the Asian American Legal Defense And Education Fund explained. By putting a moratorium on Chinese immigration, the act kept immigrants from reuniting with their families in the United States.

In addition, many in the Asian-American community who have applied to sponsor family members have already been enduring separation from their families because of the backlog for visas, Yang said. India and the Philippines have among the highest number of waiting list registrants. And some prospective immigrants have been waiting decades to be with their families again. 

“The bill would keep the vast majority of those people from being sponsored and coming to live in the U.S.,” Yang told HuffPost. “People have planned their lives around these goals by making decisions about investing in the U.S. rather than their country of origin.”  

The language component of the bill would greatly affect Asian-Americans as well. Currently, Asian-Americans have the highest rate of limited English proficiency, defined as those who have “limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English.” And a 2014 study indicates that the 4 percent of the group cannot speak English at all. By instituting a ranking system proposed in the bill, it’s probable that many prospective Asian immigrants would receive fewer points and be denied a green card, Wang fears. 

But the bill, which would cut legal immigration in half within a decade, wouldn’t just prove harmful to prospective Asian immigrants. Yang said the U.S. economy would likely take a hit. Almost 2 million businesses are owned by Asian-Americans with a large chunk involved in the accommodations and food services sector, according to the Minority Business Development Agency. And these businesses provided 3.6 million jobs.

Educational attainment, Yang believes, isn’t a measure for creativity or entrepreneurial spirit. 

“Simply stated, reduction in immigration will result in reducing the country’s economic and GDP growth. That would harm all Americans,” he said.

Some outlets have stated that the bill could potentially benefit highly skilled, educated workers like tech professionals from India. But Yang said there are no guarantees, pointing to factors such as low quota numbers. 

“Although some subgroups may get more points under the system, the low numbers and uncertainties in how the system will be administered make it hard to predict whether more members of that subgroup would get visas or a path to citizenship,” he said. 

Yang mentioned that going forward, he hopes that the community can be vocal about how damaging the legislation will be to the country, urging Congressmen to vote against the bill.  

“We need our government to focus on policy solutions that repairs our broken immigration system without being detrimental to those who in America, waiting to come to America, or want the opportunity to pursue the American Dream,” he said. 

See original article here.

The views expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Asian Diversity.


 
Tuesday August 15

Asian America needs affirmative action in higher education

Affirmative action is back in the news, as The New York Times reported that the Trump administration is taking a look at the pending case against Harvard University’s affirmative action admissions policies.

This case – and many others like it – was brought about by anti-affirmative action activists including some Asian-Americans, who suggest that universities are discriminating against Asian-American students by holding them to a higher standard.

They appear to be supported by research that shows that successful Asian-American applicants have higher scores than whites and other racial groups on standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT. And as a result, private admissions consultants are advising Asian-American students on how to “appear less Asian” to boost their chances of admission to elite universities.

These stories perpetuate stereotypes of Asian-Americans as high-achieving model minorities. They also suggest that there’s an unspoken quota on the number of Asian-American students at elite universities.

As Asian-American scholars committed to social justice education, we argue that the issues are far more complex than what these stories suggest.

Asian diversity

First and foremost, let us consider whether all Asian-Americans are members of a high-achieving monolithic model minority, as these reports seem to suggest.

Research in higher education shows that class and ethnicity shape Asian-Americans’ post-secondary decisions, opportunities and destinations. The model minority stereotype, in fact, begins to break down when we look at the data by ethnicity and class.

While Chinese-Americans and Indian-Americans do have high rates of educational attainment, it’s a different story for Southeast Asian-Americans.

Southeast Asian-Americans have among the lowest educational attainment in the country (e.g., fewer than 40 percent of Americans over the age of 25 of Laotian, Cambodian or Hmong descent have a high school diploma). Compared to East Asians (Chinese, Korean, Japanese) and South Asians (Indian, Pakistani), Southeast Asians in the U.S. are three to five times more likely to drop out of college.

Southeast Asian-American students struggle with high rates of poverty and are often trapped in programs for English learners, which fail to prepare them for college.

But this diversity among Asian-Americans is often lost in conversations about the “Asian disadvantage.” As a result, the interests of the most vulnerable Asian-Americans are not represented by anti-affirmative action rhetoric.

Race and college admissions

Most elite colleges and universities, both private and public, use holistic admissions practices. These aim to paint a more complete and complex picture of applicants through the consideration of letters of recommendation, admissions interviews, personal essays, grade point averages, test scores and experiences in a range of both co- and extracurricular activities.

According to the Supreme Court, race may be one among many considerations in the admissions process.

However, critics charge that these policies unfairly disadvantage Asian-Americans, with an unspoken quota on the number of Asian-American students admitted to elite universities.

After all, critics ask, if an otherwise qualified Asian-American student scores better on the SAT, should that student not be preferred over the competition – whatever race or ethnicity they may be?

Test scores favor the rich

One problem with theories of the “Asian disadvantage” is the assumption that test scores are an accurate, fair and objective way to assess applicants, and that they should be a dominant factor in determining college admissions.

However, studies have shown that test scores are not great predictors of success in college.

Moreover, a rapidly growing test-prep industry gives a decided advantage to those families with the resources to pay for these courses.

Among Asian-Americans, participation in test prep courses and private tutoring appears to vary across class and ethnic groups.

One study found that Chinese-Americans (44.3 percent) and Korean-Americans (52.4 percent) had the highest rates of SAT prep participation, with Chinese and Koreans from the highest income bracket being most likely to take these preparation courses.

Test scores, in some ways, tell us more about access to resources than about student capacity and learning: The reality is that students do not enter into these tests as equals.

Why we support holistic admissions

It’s true that even holistic admissions put those with greater resources at an advantage. In addition to test preparation courses and tutoring, those with higher income can potentially afford to pay for numerous extracurricular activities and even private admissions counselors to “package” their children.

However, we believe that holistic admissions still represent our best bet for capturing who students are and can be. They allow colleges to look beyond a test and consider students – including Asian-Americans – as whole individuals.

While Asian-American critics of holistic admissions and affirmative action have gotten the most attention in the press, there are many other Asian-Americans who support these practices.

As Asian-American scholars who support both holistic admissions and affirmative action, we assert that many Asian-Americans have been helped by affirmative action policies in higher education. In fact, may Asian-Americans could benefit from affirmative action after college, where they often face what’s known as the bamboo ceiling, which impedes their growth in corporate America.

These policies are needed.

Not all Asian-Americans have the socioeconomic advantages needed to compete in higher education. Holistic admissions and affirmative action protect the interests of underrepresented Asian-Americans’ access to a college degree.

See original article here.

The views expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Asian Diversity.


 
Tuesday August 15

The Asian stars of 'Hawaii Five-0' quit the show after CBS refused to pay them as much as their white costars

"Hawaii Five-0" stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park have left the CBS show after the network refused to pay them as much as their white costars, Variety reports.

Sources told the outlet that Kim and Park were seeking salaries equal to those of stars Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan, but they were unable to reach a deal with the show's producer, CBS Television Studios.

CBS's final offer to the two actors was reportedly "10-15% lower" than the salaries of their two costars.

A representative for the network told Variety in a statement: "We are so appreciative of Daniel and Grace's enormous talents, professional excellence, and the aloha spirit they brought to each and every one of our 168 episodes. They've helped us build an exciting new Hawaii Five-0, and we wish them all the best and much success in their next chapters. Mahalo and a hui hou."

The CBS reboot of a police procedural drama premiered in 2010, and Kim and Park starred alongside O'Loughlin and Caan for seven seasons.

Kim's and Park's characters, Chin Ho Kelly and Kono Kalakaua, respectively, will not appear in the show's eighth season.

See original article here.

The views expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Asian Diversity.

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