Green Card Stories in the Media in 2012
Two of the four collaborators for Green Card Stories, Laura Danielson and Stephen Yale-Loehr, are prominent immigration lawyers who are often consulted on current immigration topics. The writer, Saundra Amrhein and the photographer, Ariana Lindquist are also recognized by the media.
Stephen Yale-Loehr was quoted in the Gannett News Service article, “Latino Votes a Call for Immigration Reform”. He noted that pro-immigration organizations, in addition to immigrants themselves, are expecting immigration reform in President Obama’s second term. He also noted that while a large reform may not be feasible, smaller immigration bills could be passed in the next year, potentially including the Dream Act.
Stephen Yale-Loehr spoke on the role of newly naturalized citizens in this year’s election on WHCU on October 23, 2012.
Maria Popova described Green Card Stories as a “poignant portrait of a system caught between hope and despair” in her blog Brain Pickings on July 16, 2012. She also stated, “The project is in some ways a beautiful celebration of the triumph of hope embedded in the promise of the American Dream, and in others a poignant glimpse of a brutal system of struggle that can, if allowed to, eat away at one’s deepest sense of dignity.”
Green Card Stories has been featured on multiple immigration blogs. Angelo Paparelli dedicated a post on Nation of Immigrators to the importance of telling immigrant stories. Referring to the book, he stated, “These stories, like all well-told immigration biographies, humanize the demonized and prove that they are worthy of welcome. These dramatically revealed tales of truth and hardship, often extreme and exceptional, unmask the lies of the nativists and the naïve, who make or believe the make-believe memes about immigration, legal and illegal.” Cyrus Mehta also published a blog entry on The Insightful Immigration Blog highlighting the humanizing factor of telling these immigrant stories. He states, “Putting a human face to immigration is the best way to convince others about who they are and the benefits they bring to this country through their struggles, inspiration, ambition and successes.” The Immigration Direct blog gave a description of Green Card Stories on February 8, 2012. Greg Siskind also included the book in his blog post on ILW.com on June 29, 2012. The GC Immigration Working Group, a student organization housed at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York featured Green Card Stories on their blog on June 30, 2012.
In the CRI article “Straightening out the Country’s Immigration Laws” published June 29, 2012, Laura Danielson commented on the proposed changes in China’s immigration system. The changes are to crack down on visitors who enter and overstay visas or enter or exit illegally. These would be the first changes to the immigration law since 1985. Ms. Danielson noted that “[o]ne impact it might have of course is that more people are likely to apply for work permits. And multinational companies sending employees to China on temporary business trips will need to either limit their stays or apply for work permits.”
Stephen Yale-Loehr served as a primary source for the media on the Supreme Court’s ruling on Arizona’s immigration law on June 25, 2012. This will impede other states from imposing restrictive immigration policies. See his interviews on Voice of America, WNYC, La Opinion, Contra Costa Times, BBC International News and NPR’s All Things Considered.
Mary Apick was interviewed in a full article in the May/June 2012 issue of Zan Magazine, a publication dedicated to modern Iranian American women. Mary spoke of her experience of being included in the book and what it’s meant to be an immigrant in the United States.
Stephen Yale-Loehr was quoted in the USA Today article, “Illegal Immigrants Find Paths to College, Careers.” Finding a grey area in the immigration law, many undocumented immigrants are working as independent contractors. Hiring a contractor does not require the proof of immigration status. Mr. Yale-Loehr stated, “while self-employed illegal immigrants still violate immigration law, they may avoid additional grounds for deportation if they don’t present counterfeit documents.”
The Hennepin Lawyer, the Hennepin County Bar Association publication in Minneapolis, MN, published a full-length article by Laura Danielson. She discussed the changing evolution of U.S. immigration law and policy. Also, Ms. Danilson outlined the various manners in which to obtain a green card and the difficulties in gaining permanent residency.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune covered the reunion of one of Laura Danielson’s pro bono clients that had to make the decision to leave their 3-year-old son, Ramzi, in Togo to come to the US six years ago. After an error with his visa lottery application, the family couldn’t admit to having another son in Togo when applying for their own visas. This was considered a fraudulent act and prevented them from applying for Ramzi’s reunion. The truth was finally revealed when his father applied for citizenship risking the possibility of deportation. Laura Danielson stated, “There really has to be some kind of intent to defraud when there’s fraud, and in this case, I think the immigration service felt he’s paid enough.” Ramzi arrived in Minneapolis/St. Paul on Saturday, January 7, 2012.
The Dallas Morning News published an article on January 4 covering the U.S. citizen 14-year-old who was mistakenly deported to Colombia. When arrested for theft, Jakadrien Larise Turner claimed a false identity that belonged to a 21-year-old immigrant. After being turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, her identification was run through the the Secure Communities program that flagged the individual as not legally residing in the U.S. Stephen Yale-Loehr commented, “This case is just one of hundreds where immigration officials have wrongly detained or deported U.S. citizens. The problem will get worse when the Secure Communities program goes nationwide.”
Stephen Yale-Loehr was quoted in the NAFSA January/February 2012 International Educator article covering the DREAM Act. Mr. Yale-Loehr compared the Dream Act to the civil rights movement and environmental movement. He stated, “The Dream Act students have been very good at mobilizing and marching and advocating and doing sit-ins. Although it’s a painful process that takes a long time, I think that is their best chance of making significant changes, rather than just sitting back and hoping that somebody’s going to do it on their behalf.”