Boundless Immigration News Weekly Archive: May 13, 2022

A weekly roundup of need-to-know immigration stories

May 13, 2022

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Diversity Visa Lottery Winners Announced for 2023

The U.S. Department of State announced the winners for the 2023 Diversity Visa lottery this past week. Out of the millions who entered last year’s lottery, 55,000 foreign nationals were selected to apply for green cards.

The Diversity Visa program provides individuals from countries that typically do not send many immigrants to the U.S. the chance to obtain permanent residency. Entering the lottery is simple — applicants fill out an online form and there is no fee to enter. The lottery is open every year from early October through early November.

Being selected in the lottery does not guarantee you will be approved for a green card. Selectees must first complete the green card application process, which includes filing Form DS-260 (the online immigrant visa application), attending a visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or consulate, and paying government filing fees.

If you entered the 2023 lottery, you can now visit the “DV Entrant Status Check” portal on the State Department website to check whether you’ve been selected. Selectees are not notified directly (either by mail or email), so the only way to confirm whether you’ve been selected is through the status check portal. Results will be available on the portal through the end of September 2023.

New Report Shows ICE Spies on Majority of Americans, Despite Privacy Laws

A new investigation published this week found that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) uses a sophisticated and highly invasive dragnet surveillance system to spy on the majority of Americans, even in states with strict laws to protect the privacy of their residents.

The report, based on a two-year investigation by the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology, found that ICE has created a large-scale surveillance system that reaches into the lives of millions of ordinary people living across the U.S., from undocumented immigrants to U.S. citizens alike.

According to the report, ICE has driver’s license data for 3 out of 4 adults living in the U.S., and has scanned at least 1 in 3 of all adults’ driver’s licenses with controversial face recognition technology. ICE has also sidestepped privacy laws in states like California, which ban the sharing of utility information with immigration authorities, by purchasing hundreds of millions of Americans’ utility records through data brokers. In fact, ICE can locate 3 in 4 adults living in the U.S. today through their utility records.

Federal law specifically prohibits the government and its intelligence operatives (aka spies) from operating on U.S. soil under the National Security Act of 1947. And Congress passed new laws in the 1970s to protect Americans’ privacy after the discovery of political spying being carried out by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), and the military.

Texas Governor Plans to Challenge Supreme Court’s Guarantee of Public Education for All Children

On the heels of the leaked Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signaled that he intends to challenge a 1982 Supreme Court decision that guarantees access to free public education to all children, regardless of their immigration status.

Texas passed a law in 1975 barring undocumented children from attending public schools, claiming the cost was too great for the state. A group of students and their families sued, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Texas law was unconstitutional. The case is Plyler v. Doe.

Governor Abbott claims that the immigration situation is “different” today than it was 40 years ago, when Plyler was decided. He further claims that educating multilingual children will be too difficult and too expensive for the state. Texas currently spends less than half the national average per student on education ($6,160 per student, versus the national average of $12,600 in 2018).

The threat by Governor Abbott follows the leaked draft opinion in a case unrelated to immigration, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The Mississippi case is a direct challenge to the 1973 Supreme Court opinion Roe v. Wade.

In the wake of the leaked opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, some immigration lawyers and advocates are concerned that other cases previously considered settled law may be challenged as well, such as Plyler v. Doe or even Brown v. Board of Education, which demanded the end of racially segregated schools in America.

However, legal scholars caution that the logic behind the decision in Roe is different from the logic that underpins Plyler and Brown. Both the education cases were decided under the Equal Protection clause, which is firmly enshrined in Constitutional law. Roe v. Wade was decided under a legal idea called “substantive due process,” which leaves it more vulnerable to challenge than cases pinned to Equal Protection.

Asian Immigrants Face Barriers Accessing Abortion Care

Asian immigrants have a harder time accessing abortion care than U.S.-born Asians, studies find, an inequality that will only get worse if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

“The South Asian diaspora has the greatest amount of economic inequity,” Kavita Mehra, executive director of the women’s organization Sakhi, told NBC News. “If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it’s going to directly impact those who are of less financial means.”

Asians born in the U.S. get abortions at a rate 1.5 times higher than Asian immigrants, who tend to have lower English proficiency and are more likely to be uninsured.

Community stigma also plays a role, leaving immigrant women socially isolated and lacking support from family members.

“All of these issues will be amplified with the mounting legal barriers that devastatingly come with accessing abortion services,” Sheila Desai, research director of the Coalition to Expand Contraceptive Access and author of a study on Asian abortion rates, told NBC News.

According to the 2015 NYC Community Health Survey, Korean and Chinese New Yorkers have the lowest abortion rates, and they are also more likely than other Asian groups to be uninsured and face language barriers.

Experts say more research is needed to understand the differences between Asian groups in the U.S.

“Without having this information, there’s no way to actually understand what is happening in these communities,” Desai said.

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