One of the most controversial topics over the past few years has been immigration. The U.S immigration system is riddled with complexities, biases, blind spots, confusing criteria, and conflicts of morality. Rather than just sharing dull facts and figures, which don’t shed any light on the lived experience of what it is like to navigate this overwhelming system, we thought it best to humanize the topic. As an immigrant himself, today’s guest, Javier S., has in-depth knowledge on what it takes to immigrate to the United States. In this episode, we hear about Javier’s journey, the different times he has lived in the U.S, and the various visas he has held. Each visa comes with strict criteria, and many have limits, which Javier has experienced all too well. We also talk about hiring a lawyer to help you with your immigration process, the uncertainties that immigrants faced during the Trump era, and the intersection of immigration and identity. Tune in to hear it all!
Key Points From This Episode:
- What research into the topic of immigration revealed to Bronwen.
- Insights into a very recent change in the “immigration rulebook.”
- Javier’s take on the label “illegal alien” and why it is such a complicated term.
- The story of how Javier came to the U.S. and the complexity of gaining citizenship.
- Some of the notable immigration policies that have been implemented since the U.S independence from Britain.
- A look at the H1B Visa Javier got when he came back to the U.S and the caveats that come with it.
- Some of the limitations that come with the U.S student visa.
- Facts and figures about the Immigration and Nationality Act.
- The difference between family and work-based immigration.
- The long wait times that are synonymous with family-based sponsorship visas.
- Details about the O-1 visa and the criteria.
- Why the visa process is so dehumanizing, according to Javier.
- What the term ‘anchor baby’ means, and the U.S’s unique birthright citizenship process.
- Although the U.S immigration system is tough, it is still easier than in a lot of other countries.
- The uncertainties that immigrants faced during the Trump administration.
- There are so many subjectivities in the immigration process.
- Why Javier decided to hire a lawyer to guide him through the immigration process.
- The crossroads Javier faced deciding to pursue his relationship or his visa.
- Immigration also calls your identity into question.
- It is so important to humanize the issues in the immigration system going forward.
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: