Things That Matter

The Threat of Immigration Raids is Real Amongst Latinos

Fearing a raid, some hadn’t left their house in days. They skipped work and school. The rumors ran rampant that officials were targeting places like Staten Island Mall, Southern State Parkway, and Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

But it turned out those were just rumors, at least in New York City. An actual raid happened in Texas, Georgia and North Carolina targeting 121 Central American immigrants who had arrived in the country in the last 18 months and had lost their cases to stay or had not appeared in court.

READ: No Way! Find Out the Bizarre Truth about Mexican Immigration

So in an effort to learn about their rights, immigrants gathered at El Centro del Inmigrante, an immigrant rights group that’s teaching them what to do in case of a raid or a collateral arrest.

“Do not open the door. Remain silent and do not speak. Or say that you want to speak to a lawyer,” said Thomas Angelillo, a lawyer with El Centro. “Ask to see an arrest warrant.”

In case of a raid in a public space, “don’t run, that’s the most important thing,” an attendee at the meeting added.

All useful information because although the raids did not happen in New York, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement official said that the agency IS conducting business as usual: “We have fugitive teams in New York tasked with final orders of removal.”

That news could not be worse for many. “We are afraid to go out,” Maria, a 22-year-old from Ecuador said. “The fear has affected my heart.”

Read more about the raids here and what the Obama Administration is doing here.

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California, Harvard, MIT File Lawsuits To Challenge Government’s International Student Visa Announcement

Things That Matter

California, Harvard, MIT File Lawsuits To Challenge Government’s International Student Visa Announcement

Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

Update: The State of California has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration against the announcement to deport international students. The Golden State filed after Harvard and MIT filed a lawsuit against the same announcement.

A judge has set the hearing date for the lawsuit filed by Harvard and MIT for Tuesday.

A federal judge in Boston will start hearing the arguments for an injunction against the recent announcement from the federal government Tuesday. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ordered that all international students will be stripped of student visas if their classes go completely online.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said that he will be filing a lawsuit as well.

Attorney General Becerra argues that the decision is arbitrary and only causes undue harm to the people impacted by the decision. Part of the argument is the disregard of the health of those who would be forced to leave. The U.S. has the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the world and the health risks of making thousands of international students suddenly leave the U.S.

Original: Just as students begin to contemplate what a fall semester might look like amid a global health pandemic, the Trump Administration has thrown another curveball at foreign university students. In a new rule issued by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, foreign students must return to their home country if their school will no longer be offering in-person learning, effectively forcing students to decide between full classrooms or international travel during a health crisis.

Once again, a cruel and poorly thought out, hastily announced rule change has thrown the lives of hundreds of thousands into doubt.

The Trump Administration announced new rules that require foreign students in the U.S. to be part of in-person classes.

Despite the global pandemic that is currently spiraling out of control in the U.S., the Trump Administration has issued new immigration guidelines that require foreign students to be enrolled in in-person learning. With this new rule, foreign students attending colleges that will operate entirely online this fall semester cannot remain in the country to do so.

The new comes just as college students begin to contemplate what their upcoming semester might look like and leaves them with an uncomfortable choice: attend in-person classes during a pandemic or take them online from another country. 

And for students enrolled in schools that have already announced plans to operate fully online, there is no choice. Under the new rules, the State Department will not issue them visas, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not allow them to enter the country. 

“Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status,” read a release from ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program. “If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings

Already, several major universities have announced their intention to offer online learning because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Credit: Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

The strict new rule comes as higher education institutions are releasing information on their reopening plans. Schools are preparing to offer in-person instruction, online classes or a mix of both.

Eight percent of colleges are planning to operate online, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, which is tracking the reopening plans of more than 1,000 U.S. colleges. Sixty percent are planning for in-person instruction, and 23% are proposing a hybrid model, with a combined 8.5% undecided or considering a range of scenarios. 

Harvard University is one of the latest institutions to unveil its plans, announcing on Monday that all undergraduate and graduate course instruction for the academic year will be held online. Joining Harvard’s stance are other prestigious universities, including Princeton and the University of Southern California.

The U.S. has more than 1 million international students from around the world.

The U.S. is the number one destination for foreign students around the globe. More than a million foreign students are enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities, although that number has dipped slightly in recent years – largely attributed to the election of Donald Trump.

Mexico sends more than 15,000 students to the U.S. and Brazil is responsible for 16,000 foreign students in the country. By contrast, China and India send a combined almost 600,000 students to study in the U.S.

The new rule is expected to cost U.S. colleges and universities more than $4 billion.

Credit: Eva Hambach / Getty Images

Putting aside the very real health implications of forcing students to decide between attending in-person classes or traveling back to their home country amid a global pandemic, the U.S. economy is also going to take a hit.

International students in the U.S. contributed nearly $41 billion to the national economy in the 2018-2019 academic year. According to the Institute of International Education, the vast majority of funding for international students comes from overseas, rather than being funded by their host institutions, meaning that international students are big business for American universities. While students will still be required pay tuition fees, it’s possible that a hostile policy towards people seeking to study in the US could discourage prospective students.

If fewer international students are able to study in this country, it could spell trouble for the colleges that bank on them. Over the last decade, deep cuts in state funding for higher education have put pressure on schools to admit more students who need less aid, which is why so many schools have come to rely on the revenue from foreign students, who typically pay top dollar. 

“Those students are also, by and large, paying full tuition to study in this country,” Lakhani said. “That’s a really valuable tuition base.”

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‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Has Brought Us Some Serious Talent But These Are Our Favorite Latino Judges In Herstory

Entertainment

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Has Brought Us Some Serious Talent But These Are Our Favorite Latino Judges In Herstory

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

It’s no secret that drag and, in particular, drag queens have made their way into the mainstream. Much of their success is easily attributed to the hit show RuPaul’s Drag Race, which has helped catapult hundreds of queens into the spotlight.

The show, which is now in it’s 12 regular season (plus countless spinoffs), has one eight Emmy Awards – but above all else, it’s helped create a community for LGBTQ persons who hadn’t grown up seeing people like them on TV. So many people say that the show has helped them accept their identities. It’s also helped launch the careers of dozens of drag queens.

It’s no surprise then, that the show has also attracted some of the biggest names in entertainment – from Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga to Ricky Martin and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, several high-profile judges have helped judge the completion for their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent.

Mike Ruiz

Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1

Mike Ruiz was a tasty addition to the regular lineup of ‘Drag Race’ judges – having made several appearances over the course of the show. Although he hasn’t returned since season 6. He often launched the season with a photoshoot in which he had to find the perfect shot of each queen.

Maria Conchita Alonso

Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1

The Cuban-born telenovela star made her debut on Drag Race in the very first season of the show – where she helped judge the first ever ball. She made her way back to Drag Race during season 5, where she came back to coach the queens on their telenovela acting skills alongside Wilmer Valderrama. It’s obvious this two-time guest judge has a special place in her heart for drag!

Rosie Perez

Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1

The Acadamy Award-nominated actress also made her Drag Race debut on the show’s very first season, where she helped judge the first ever girl group competition. She judged alongside Mary Wilson and the duo were definitely one of the season’s highlights.

Jessica Alba

Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1

Jessica Alba was one of the biggest-named actresses to appear as a judge – especially in the earlier seasons. She made her debut on Drag Race in season 7, which was jam packed full of big name guest judges – Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato and Mel B – just to name a few.

Jessica Alba didn’t disappoint fans on her visit to the show either having fun with the queens as they shot their parody music video. The winner of the episode – Kennedy Davenport – also scored a three year supply of products from Alba’s The Honest Company.

Demi Lovato

Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1

Another season 7 judge, Demi Lovato’s appearance on the show left the queens gagged. She appeared in the season just two episodes after Ariana Grande had been on so the queens were being treated to some of the biggest names in pop.

Demi Lovato was joined by guest judge John Waters – who’s iconic films inspired the episodes maxi-challenge, of which Ginger Minj won. For the lip synch – between Miss Fame and Pearl – the queens got to perform Demi Lovato’s “Really Don’t Care.”

Christina Aguilera

Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1

Getting none other than Christina Aguilera (a.k.a. Xtina) to appear in the premiere episode of season 10 (a.k.a. season X) was definitely a very clever idea. Besides, Christina Aguilera has been considered an important LGBTQ+ ally since her music video for “Beautiful,” which featured same-sex relationships during a time when this was not necessarily trendy for popstars to do.

On Drag Race, Christina Aguilera was more than willing to have fun. She even did a bit in which she pretended to be season 9 contestant Farrah Moan (who many believe looks like the singer). Overall, Xtina did not disappoint Drag Race fans!

Guillermo Díaz

Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1

Cuban-American actor Guillermo Díaz made his Drag Race debut in season 11 on the third episode, alongside pop star Troye Sivan. The two were there to help judge one of my favorite maxi-challenges to date – the teams had to select a pop diva to worship in their TV evangelist show.

In the lip synch challenge, the bottom six queens lip synced to Jennifer Lopez’s “Waiting for Tonight” and it was everything.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1

Drag Race was one of the most revolutionary shows when it first started. Here were drag artists going on national TV and performing their art form, when it was still considered extremely taboo. Times have changed, thankfully, and so much so that one of the nation’s leading politicians made a guest judge appearance on the show. Enter: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who made her debut on the show during season 12, episode 7.

This episode featured by far the very best ‘rusical’ every performed on the show – honoring pop queen Madonna. AOC was very visibly into the performance and gave plenty of constructive criticism and praise to the queens. She even snuck backstage during the taping of Untucked to have more one-on-one time with the queens, and reminding them of the power of their art form and their voice.

Ricky Martin

Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1

RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars’ Season 5 is already a hit with fans and maybe Ricky Martin had something to do with it. Fans are loving him on the judges’ panel and didn’t hold back from expressing their love for him. The Puerto Rican singer-actor watched every performance with equal enthusiasm and awe — especially the last one where queen India Ferrah and lip-sync assassin Yvie Oddly battled it out in the elimination. 

And pretty much all of Twitter agreed that Ricky Martin has only gotten better with age – calling him the ultimate trade of ‘All Stars’ Season 5.

Did we miss any of your favorite judges? Or who would you like to see make a guest appearance on Drag Race?

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