By Dewi Zarni

In Bangladesh’s refugee camps, evacuation due to flooding is increasingly common. Paula Bronstein/Getty Images.

July 28th marks the 70th anniversary of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. This historic document, signed by 149 nation-states, defines refugees as those with a well-founded fear of persecution if returned to their country of origin on the basis of their “race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.”¹ It also outlines the rights afforded to refugees, including safety, liberty, and education, as well as the obligations of states who receive them. Created in the aftermath of World War II, the convention was amended in 1967 to remain in force, without geographic restrictions.

By Aurora De Luna and Yesenia Solis

In the United States, access to health care is considered a privilege. For undocumented people, it is a luxury that they cannot afford. Not only do undocumented people live with the fear of deportation, but they also face the challenges of navigating the complicated healthcare system. Many undocumented folks are unable to access medical insurance because of their lack of social security numbers. They face transportation and language barriers that prevent them from accessing the scarce resources that are available to them. Many undocumented folks also fear using services because they think it…

By Roberto Pallais and Dongsu Kim

Farmworker working during the Pandemic

Disaster Strikes Sonoma

Sonoma County, home to nearly 500,000 people, is known for its famous vineyards and great weather. However, its name has recently been on the news for its yearly wildfires, including the most recent one that burned down 310 houses. Early in the year, Sonoma grappled with spikes in Covid-19 infections. By mid-March 2021, almost 29,000 people had been infected.

Such tragedies have caused a disproportionate amount of strain on vulnerable populations in the county, especially for undocumented immigrants or those living with undocumented family members. An example of this is how…

By Zoe Lee-Park

Chevron oil refinery, Richmond

Activists for environmental justice have shown that the most powerful and privileged members in our society still devalue the lives of poorer people of color in subtle but powerful ways: they put toxic sites and hazardous operations in and around the most vulnerable neighborhoods. Immigrants have a unique precarity in this regard, particularly in our country. Our current federal policies do not incorporate nor educate newcomers so that they can have a voice in planning decisions, such as in zoning industrial plants and in energy generation. …

By Anny Patino

Artwork by Anny Patino

Central Valley resident Van Vanlandingham found himself sharing a room in a rehabilitation nursing home with two men who talked about the physical and sexual abuse gay men experienced and he became fearful. Vanlandingham is gay and, like many other LGBTQ+ people, he was hesitant and afraid to share his identity because of the homophobia in nursing homes, doctors’ offices, and assisting living facilities. …

By: Jiayu Fang

Who are experiencing the strongest stress under the current crisis of COVID-19?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this group includes essential workers in the food industry, racial and ethnic minorities, and those lacking access to information in their primary language. In the U.S., many immigrants fall into these categories. 69% of immigrant workers work in the ‘essential infrastructure’. 88% of immigrants come from places other than Europe and North America. And 83% of immigrants speak languages other than English at home. …

By Zoe Lee-Park

Photo by Amr Alfiky/The New York Times

The United States is overwhelmingly responsible for causing and accelerating climate change. As President Joe Biden has now chosen his Climate Team, I’ve wondered if his top advisors have considered or will consider climate injustice: the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world will bear the most devastating impacts of climate change, from intensified hurricanes to growing crop losses. Even though they have contributed the least to the crisis, they will suffer the most.

We see this pattern within our own nation, too: powerful people, often white and affluent, have the highest standards of living, but…

BY: Pelin Ensari

Photo by Ted Eytan

On January 20, 2021, Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States of America. President-elect Biden has a long road ahead of him. He must mend the political, social, and economic damages of the Trump Administration, and implement his various domestic policy plans. As for foreign policy, Joe Biden must reestablish American diplomacy, which will require a revitalized immigration plan. For far too long, the United States has benefitted off the backs of immigrants without acknowledging their importance — a new immigration policy is thus long overdue. …

Por Alein Y. Haro

Credit: Gary Coronado via Los Angeles Times

Hoy, 18 de junio, recibí mensajes de felicitación por la decisión de DACA de la Corte Suprema de mantener el programa a pesar de los múltiples intentos del presidente de ponerle fin. Verá, soy estudiante de doctorado de UC Berkeley y & “DACAmented.” Podría haberme convertido en lo que llamaría “completamente” ; indocumentada en cualquier momento si DACA fuera revocado. DACA es el hilo del que estoy aferrada para continuar mi viaje, tanto académica como personal en este país.

By Johanna Schenner

In California, agriculture and the tech industry are currently experiencing an ongoing labor shortage despite record levels of unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These labor shortages are not novel, as testified by the establishment of the agricultural guest worker scheme in 1918 at the federal level and the tech industry’s H-1B version in 1990. In October 2020, the current Administration introduced significant changes to the H-1B guest worker scheme by i) increasing the wage levels for such workers; ii) reducing the number of jobs that qualify for the guest worker scheme; and iii) decreasing the visa…

BIMI at UC Berkeley

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