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New York’s colleges and universities are reeling after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement decided to revoke visas for international students if their colleges go fully online in the fall. “When I heard the news … I couldn’t even listen to it,” said Alexandra Panzarelli, a 39-year-old politics PhD student at The New School, which cancelled in-person classes in the fall. She may have to return to Venezuela, a country she hasn’t been to in three years. “Our decision to conduct classes online this fall was made out of a prevailing sense of responsibility to prioritize community health and safety,” New School officials wrote in a Tuesday letter to students. “It is important that any federal policy change respects such prudence.” NY Daily News
In other local immigration news…
Coronavirus Pandemic Creates Longer Waits in Detention for New York Immigrants
Documented Original New York’s Varick Street immigration court was dramatically improving its out-of-control waits detainees experienced for a first hearing — until the coronavirus hit. The new round of delays had immigrants waiting over five weeks in detention for a first hearing in April or May at the Varick Street Processing Center, according to the reports filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan. The Executive Office for Immigration Review had previously pledged to a federal judge that the Varick Street court would hold master calendar hearings for all recently detained people within 17 days — far less than the waits detainees experienced in the summer of 2018. In criminal cases, the authorities generally have 48 hours to arraign a defendant. Read more at Documented.
Yemeni-Americans Stranded Abroad Struggle to Return to New York
????Documented Original As temperatures soar over 90 degrees this summer and power outages happen frequently, it has become difficult for Yemeni Americans to continue to wait in the Yemeni city of Aden to go back to the U.S., despite the loosening travel restrictions. Hundreds of Yemeni-Americans — permanent U.S. residents and visa holders — have become stranded in the war-torn country since COVID-19 hit in March and travel restrictions were introduced. The U.S. State Department recently announced two repatriation flights traveling from Aden back to the U.S. Families stuck in Yemen are required to show valid travel documents and pay $1,500 per ticket to board one of those flights. Read more at Documented
George Floyd Protests Open Dialogue About Racism for Chinese Americans
Earlier this month, 20-year-old Eileen Huang penned an open letter titled “A Letter from a Yale student to the Chinese American Community,” that discussed some Chinese Americans’ indifference toward the George Floyd protests. “I really couldn’t get that image out of my mind,” Huang said, referring to Floyd’s death after a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, prompting her to write the letter. In the letter, she wrote: “What has happened to George Floyd has happened to Chinese miners in the 1800s and Vincent Chin, and will continue to happen to us and all minorities unless we let go of our silence, which has never protected us, and never will.” Voice of America