Updated 2014-02-20: USCIS delays in adjudicating Forms I-130, Petitions for Alien Relatives, on behalf of immediate relatives (spouses, parents, and unmarried children under age 21) have been widely criticized. The New York Times picked up on this story on Feb. 8.
Processing times peaked at 13 months in October 2013. In November, USCIS promised “concerted efforts” to bring down processing times. As of now, USCIS is reporting processing times are approximately 6-8 months, still short of the agency’s 5-month goal. Continue reading
Brief summaries of U.S. and China visa, immigration, and nationality law news: Continue reading
The Mutual Visa Exemption Agreement between China and the Bahamas goes into effect on Feb. 12. The new agreement allows a person holding a valid Diplomatic, Official, Service, Public Affairs, or Ordinary passport from The Bahamas to transit through or visit China visa free for up to 30 days. Continue reading
The Sino-Russian border city of Suifenhe (绥芬河), in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, has launched a visa-free stay policy for Russians effective Dec. 2013. Continue reading
Date(s) - Dec 11, 2013
12:00 am - 5:00 pm
Capitol Visitor Center
Critical to understanding developments in China has been the ability of journalists to cover that country. Domestic journalists operate under heavy censorship while foreign journalists now report a worsening environment under President Xi Jinping. In November, Chinese officials denied a visa to Paul Mooney, an American journalist who had spent the past 18 years in China and had reported on environmental problems, Tibet, Xinjiang, the plight of human rights activists, and kidnapped children, among other stories. Currently some two dozen journalists from the New York Times and Bloomberg have yet to receive their visas as a year-end deadline approaches, and the Web sites of both news organizations have been blocked in China after publishing articles detailing the wealth of the relatives of China’s top leaders. Foreign journalists report concern over government retaliation, harassment of sources, and physical threats, and allegations of self-censorship in the face of pressure from Chinese authorities have also surfaced.
Paul Mooney, Freelance Journalist
Bob Dietz, Asia Program Coordinator, Committee to Protect Journalists
Sarah Cook, Senior Research Analyst for East Asia, Freedom House
Additional witnesses forthcoming.
*PLEASE RSVP for this event to Judy Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org by 12pm, Tuesday, December 10.
More at the Congressional-Executive Commission on China website: http://www.cecc.gov/events/roundtables/chinas-treatment-of-foreign-journalists
Date(s) - Dec 8, 2013
Seattle artist Morgan Dusatko’s “left:behind” is an interpretive tour of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in Seattle, offering visitors an emotional, often dark look at the history of a facility where thousands of Chinese immigrants were once detained.
The building opened in 1931. Some called it the “Ellis Island of Seattle.” But there’s a darker history here. The building was also used to detain and interrogate Chinese Americans and Chinese immigrants when federal law restricted Chinese immigration, and to round up Japanese-American leaders during Japanese internment.
Many immigrants from around the world were detained here, and some deported, before the building closed in 2004 and was replaced by a larger facility in Tacoma.
From the Seattle Times columnist who took the tour:
I was outfitted with earphones and an iPod, positioned at the tour’s starting point and told to press “play.” Immediately an authoritative woman’s voice begins explaining the visa applications process that once took place here, her high heels echoing as she ushered me down the hall.
But soon there’s a second voice, this one louder and more urgent, seemingly inside my head. He’s demanding help, telling me to “smile and nod” at the tour guide who notices my confusion.
The tour’s narrative oscillates between the guide’s sanitized version of historic events and the former detainee’s raw, unfiltered memories. It quickly transforms from a typical walking audio tour into a disturbing adventure in which you, the visitor, are also in danger of losing yourself to the building’s troubled past.
The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific-American Experience, which provided oral histories for “left:behind,” is also opening an exhibit that displays some of the materials removed from the building when it was converted into artist space in 2010.
If you’re interested in making that connection, “left:behind” will be open to the public this Sunday (Dec. 8), at the Inscape Arts and Cultural Center, 815 Seattle Blvd. S.
For tours by appointment: go to http://leftbehindseattle.tumblr.com.
And find the Wing Luke Musum at 719 South King Street, Seattle, WA 98104 (206) 623-5124, http://www.wingluke.org/home.htm.