News / Africa

Africans Concerned About New US Immigration Reforms

Senator John McCain, center, speaks about immigration reform legislation that would create a path for the nation's 11 million unauthorized immigrants to apply for U.S. citizenship, April 18, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington.Senator John McCain, center, speaks about immigration reform legislation that would create a path for the nation's 11 million unauthorized immigrants to apply for U.S. citizenship, April 18, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Senator John McCain, center, speaks about immigration reform legislation that would create a path for the nation's 11 million unauthorized immigrants to apply for U.S. citizenship, April 18, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Senator John McCain, center, speaks about immigration reform legislation that would create a path for the nation's 11 million unauthorized immigrants to apply for U.S. citizenship, April 18, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
James Butty
Each year, hundreds if not thousands of Africans benefit from the annual U.S. visa lottery, a program through which individual winners can get an automatic Green Card, a pathway to U.S. citizenship.

Now, there are concerns that Africans may be the losers under the new U.S. immigration reform laws being debated in Washington.

Under the new bill, which, if passed, would be effective in 2017, the visa lottery would be replaced by a merit-based system that gives more points to applicants with higher academic degrees.

Some say the new merit-based system would reduce the number of African immigrants.

Reverend William K. Asari is pastor of the Royal Generation Ministries International Church and one of the leaders of the African-Caribbean Faith-based organization.

The group assists the African diaspora community with many immigration issues. Reverend Asari said Africans are concerned about their situation in the new immigration debate.

“The African and Caribbean communities, some of them are having problems changing their status to be able to get their Green Cards. Also, we were told that the government is trying to shut down the lottery from Africa,” he said.

Reverend Asari said some African immigrants seeking to bring older family members from Africa to the United States were also having a difficult time doing so.

In addition, he said, some attorneys retained by some African immigrants were overcharging for services.

“There was a lady who said she is trying to bring her two daughters and they also have children back home, and the attorney was telling the lady that you have to pay $850 for each person when another attorney said the price didn’t have to be that high. I think it’s like $400 and something. So I think her attorney was charging her twice the amount she was supposed to pay,” Asari said.

At a May 4 meeting in Washington, called by the African and Caribbean immigrant community, representatives from the Obama White House briefed the community on the new immigration reforms being debated.

On the proposal to change the visa lottery to a merit-based system that would give more points to applicants with higher academic degrees, Asari said the African immigrant community would like keep the visa lottery in its current form to give everyone an equal chance of immigrating to the United States.

“These are some of the things that our organization is fighting against because in this country we all believe in equal rights. So, if we believe in equal rights, then either you have been to school or not, we all have to be able to enjoy equal rights and equal benefits,” Asari said.
Butty interview with Asari
Butty interview with Asarii
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Comment Sorting
by: Juan from: San Antonio, Texas
June 05, 2013 11:46 AM
Seek the truth – stand by the truth – live the truth.
Fellow Americans, Our country’s history is full of great accomplishments and we done it through seeking justice, because is the right thing to do. Freedom, social justice and the rights of all the people within our jurisdiction to be free to pursuit happiness and prosperity should be defend it and protect it. Ours is a Christian nation and our Lord give us hope and the courage to correct what is wrong.
On the matter of Immigration, it is time for us as Americans to stand together as one to pass an immigration reform and free all illegal immigrants from the yoke of economic slavery and exploitation. It is time for us the people of this United States to embrace an immigration reform and give all illegal immigrants the freedom to be in this United States and pursuit their dreams and work and educate themselves to become the best they can be. We must end the exploitation of illegal immigrants in all forms; there is no question about it that the people that benefit from the people that are in our country illegally are the corporations, small business and the criminals. We Christians must stop this exploitation; God made us a family, no matter where we come from, our nationality, color or language. Our conscience is talking to us and is telling us that we must be united as one and demand from our government a just immigration reform.
Please send letters to your Washington Representatives and the media demand an immigration reform now. God want for all people to be free and able to pursuit a better life and their happiness.

Promote legal immigration.
Contact the Media.
Posted by Juan Reynoso.

by: C. from: Montana
May 09, 2013 11:38 PM
Brendan: I strongly agree with you. Although I am a foreign student in America but I never agree with those who think that it is their rights to immigrate to a foreign country (not only US). And you are also very right when you said the US is supposed to be run for the benefit of Americans. Actually, every country in the world is supposed to be run that way, not only the US. Unfortunately, most people who REALLY want to immigrate to the US are those who never go to school and don't have enough knowledge to think like you and I think. They simply think that they will have an easier life when they come here while it's not true at all;

And the people who are high skilled engineers and scientists are those who don't care about immigrating to the US that much. For me a student who is majoring in one of the most advanced engineering fields, I never care about immigrating to the US too much even though I still think it would be nice to work here. So far, I have received job offers from several companies from US, UK, Norway, Germany. I think if I receive the green card, I may not be the one who is happiest but the US company that hires me instead. This is also true for other high skilled engineers and scientists.

by: Brendan from: Idaho
May 08, 2013 4:08 PM
Immigration is meant, in theory, to benefit the host country. How do people who managed to draw a random number out of a hat benefit the USA? They should be grateful that we even gave them the opportunity in the first place.

The United States is supposed to be run for the benefit of Americans, not for people who aren't even here.

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