I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door

by Joseph McKeown


  I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door  by Dorothy Iannone.

I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door by Dorothy Iannone.

Dorothy Iannone, a Berlin-based artist, has created a large-scale mural installation near 22nd Street on the High Line. Iannone's work is inspired by Egyptian frescoes, Byzantine mosaics, and ancient fertility statues. In between her three colorful Statues of Liberty is the final line from Emma Lazarus’s poem The New Colossus: “I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door.” The mural re-imagines the Statue of Liberty "anew as a symbol of the openness of New York City and the United States to those seeking asylum, freedom, or simply a better life" and also brings "a bit of joy to an often exhausting and demoralizing political debate." The mural is on the High Line through March 2019.


NPR: "Under A Trump Proposal, Lawful Immigrants Might Shun Medical Care"

by Joseph McKeown


The Trump administration is considering proposing a policy change that could have the result of discouraging immigrants seeking permanent residency (i.e., a Green Card) from using government-supported health care. Under the administration's draft plan, an immigrant in valid legal status could be prevented from obtaining permanent residency if they have used Medicaid, a subsidized Obamacare plan, food stamps, tax credits or other non-cash government benefits, according to a draft of the plan published by The Washington Post. Legal immigrants could even be prevented from obtaining a Green Card if their US-citizen child uses such benefits.

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USCIS to Recall Incorrectly Dated Green Cards

by Joseph McKeown


US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that beginning May 14, 2018, the agency will begin recalling approximately 8,543 Permanent Resident Cards (i.e., Green Cards) due to a production error. The Green Cards, printed with an incorrect “Resident Since” date and mailed between February and April 2018, were for approved Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, for spouses of US citizens. Since spouses of US citizens may apply for naturalization after three years of permanent residency (and when they meet other requirements), the incorrect date on these Green Cards could potentially cause applicants to wait longer than necessary to apply for naturalization.

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USCIS Changing Policy on Accrued Unlawful Presence by Nonimmigrant Students and Exchange Visitors

by Joseph McKeown


US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has posted a policy memorandum for public comment that changes how the agency will calculate unlawful presence for students and exchange visitors in F, J, and M nonimmigrant status (including F-2, J-2, or M-2 dependents) who fail to maintain their status in the US. This updated policy, which will be effective August 9, 2018, aligns with President Trump’s “Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” USCIS says. L. Francis Cissna, director of USCIS, says the policy sends a message that nonimmigrants in these statuses cannot overstay their periods of admission or violate the terms of admission. “USCIS is dedicated to our mission of ensuring the integrity of the immigration system,” he says. “F, J, and M nonimmigrants are admitted to the United States for a specific purpose, and when that purpose has ended, we expect them to depart, or to obtain another, lawful immigration status.”

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Radical Women

by Joseph McKeown


  Les veines / Las vecinas (The Neighbors),  1980 by Marcia Schvartz

Les veines / Las vecinas (The Neighbors), 1980 by Marcia Schvartz

Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985 at the Brooklyn Museum is the first exhibition to "explore the groundbreaking contributions to contemporary art of Latin American and Latina women artists during a period of extraordinary conceptual and aesthetic experimentation." Featuring 123 artists from fifteen countries, the works in the exhibition often use the female body as a means of political and social critique and artistic expression. Much of the artwork, which includes paintings, sculptures, videos, and work in other mediums, was created under difficult and often oppressive political and social environments, and "complicated or compounded by the artists’ experiences as women." The exhibit is at Brooklyn Museum through July 22, 2018.


NPR: “How A Half-Hour In a U.S. Embassy Changed a Life”

by Joseph McKeown


As a child growing up in Sri Lanka, Christopher Francis was fascinated with America.  After reading books about America at his local library, his dream was to make it to the United States. "I looked at the pictures or read about it and everything was just fascination about America," he tells NPR. "I knew that…in America, sky's the limit and you are welcomed and you are given every opportunity to succeed in this country." Francis grew up Tamil, a persecuted ethnic minority in Sri Lanka, during a time when there was great tension and deadly encounters between Tamils and the Sinhalese government. “It’s a very tough times we went through. Almost everyone got burnt and killed, they escaped and ran,” Francis says. He knew he had to leave the country.  

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USCIS and the Legacy of Ellis Island

by Joseph McKeown


US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a new short documentary, titled USCIS and the Legacy of Ellis Island, about the history of Ellis Island as an immigrant processing station. The video tells the story of the federal immigration service on Ellis Island and its employees who processed over twelve million immigrants from 1892 to 1954. Featuring interviews from historians, National Park Service rangers, and an archived interview from a worker at this iconic immigration station, the documentary tells the story of Ellis Island from the perspective of those who worked there. “USCIS holds a distinctive place in history for its role in processing immigrants into the fabric of our nation,” USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna said at the premiere to agency employees. “It remains an undisputable fact that America is a nation of immigrants. As employees, we all have an essential duty in honoring and preserving that legacy.”