Tag: African immigrants

African Immigrants More Educated than Most, Including Native-Born U.S. Citizens

Ifeozuwa Oyaniyi, 5, born in Nigeria, holds flags given to him by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services while waiting to receive his citizenship certificate in New York City. (John Moore/Getty Images)

by Ann M. Simmons via latimes.com

Lots of the news from sub-Saharan Africa is about war, famine, poverty or political upheaval. So it’s understandable if many Americans think most Africans who immigrate to the United States are poorly educated and desperate. That’s the impression that President Trump left with his comments to members of Congress opposing admission of immigrants from “s***hole countries” in Africa and elsewhere.

But research tells another story.

While many are refugees, large numbers are beneficiaries of the “diversity visa program” aimed at boosting immigration from underrepresented nations. And on average, African immigrants are better educated that people born in the U.S. or the immigrant population as a whole.

“It’s a population that’s very diverse in its educational, economic and English proficiency profile,” said Jeanne Batalova, a senior policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute think tank in Washington and co-author of a report last year on sub-Saharan African immigrants in the U.S. “People came for a variety of reasons and at various times.”

Overall, their numbers are small compared with other immigrant groups but have risen significantly in recent years. The U.S. immigrant population from sub-Saharan Africa (49 countries with a total population of more than 1.1 billion) grew from 723,000 to more than 1.7 million between 2010 and 2015, according to a new report by New American Economy, a Washington-based research and advocacy group. Still, they make up just half a percent of the U.S. population.

Drawing from U.S. surveys and Census Bureau data, the report found that the majority come from five countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa.

The Pew Research Center reported that African immigrants are most likely to settle in the South or Northeast, and that the largest numbers — at least 100,000 — are found in Texas, New York, California, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Virginia. Many African refugees have also relocated to or have been resettled in states such as Minnesota and South Dakota.

The Refugee Act of 1980 made it easier for people fleeing war zones to resettle in the U.S., and today there are tens of thousand of refugees from Somalia, Sudan and Congo. About 22% of African immigrants are refugees, according to Andrew Lim, associate director of research at New American Economy.

At the same time, the diversity visa program — also known as the visa lottery — has opened the door to immigrants from more peaceful places. Of the sub-Saharan immigrants who have become legal permanent residents, 17% came through the program, compared with 5% of the total U.S. immigrant population, according to Batalova.

Applicants to the program must have completed the equivalent of a U.S. high school education or have at least two years of recent experience in any number of occupations, including accountant, computer support specialist, orthodontist and dancer. As a result, the influx includes many immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa who are highly skilled professionals.

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Maame Biney, 17, Becomes 1st Black Woman to Win Spot on U.S. Olympic Speedskating Team

Maame Biney reacts after winning women’s 500-meter during the U.S. Olympic short track speedskating trials Dec. 16, 2017, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

by Associated Press via nbcnews.com

KEARNS, Utah — Maame Biney became the first black woman to qualify for a U.S. Olympic speedskating team with a pair of victories in the 500 meters.

The 17-year-old native of Ghana cruised to victory in the first 500 final at the short track trials on Saturday, beating Olympians Lana Gehring, Jessica Kooreman, and Katherine Reutter-Adamek.

“I can’t believe it, aww geez,” she said after squealing with joy. “It’s a really good feeling, but it has to set in first because it takes me a while. I’m like, ‘Holy cow.'”

Before the second final, her father sitting in the stands held up a sign reading: “Kick some hiney Biney.”

She sure did.

Biney set a blistering pace in taking an early lead that widened as the wild and wooly race went on. She crossed the finish line on the hockey-sized rink and began clapping and then pumping her arms so hard she lost her balance and fell.

 She went down laughing all the way.

“When I realized that I made the Olympic team, I started cheering like crazy and then I made my epic fall,” she said.

Biney will be the second black speedskater on a U.S. Olympic team. Shani Davis, the first African-American athlete to win an individual gold medal at the Winter Olympics, was 19 when he qualified for the short track team in 2002. He later switched to long track and won four medals, including two golds.

Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/maame-biney-17-first-black-woman-make-olympic-speedskating-team-n830481?cid=sm_npd_nn_tw_blk

EU presses Malta to Accept African Migrants at Sea

Migrants freshly arrived in at Delimara, Malta, 4 August
More than 100 migrants arrived in Malta on a dinghy on Sunday

The European Commission has urged Malta to allow 102 African migrants rescued from the sea by a tanker to enter its territory.  It said the EU state had a humanitarian duty to take in the migrants, who were rescued off the coast of Libya.

Among those rescued are an injured woman, four pregnant women and a five-month-old baby.  The Italian navy had asked the ship to take the migrants to Libya, the nearest land, but it disregarded the request.  The tiny island state receives thousands of illegal migrants heading to Europe each year.

Hours before the latest incident, 111 mainly African migrants arrived in a rubber dinghy at Delimara, on the south-east coast.  In the latest incident, the European Commission said that since the ship was now closest to Malta, the island must allow the migrants to disembark as soon as possible.

Any dispute over which country should legally take them should be resolved later, it argued. The immediate concern was to save lives.  The master of the tanker M/V Salamis is credited with saving the migrants’ lives but the Maltese authorities are refusing to let the ship dock.

Malta says the migrants are in no danger or distress though the ship’s master has issued an urgent medical request saying one injured woman needs to be taken immediately to hospital.

The Maltese government said a patrolling Italian navy ship had ordered the Salamis to take the migrants to the nearest available port, in this case in Libya.

“The government told the ship’s captain that since he had ignored the instructions given him [by the Italian navy], he had been forbidden to enter Maltese waters,” a statement said on Monday.  On Sunday the Italian navy rescued a group of at least 90 migrants trying to reach Europe from North Africa by boat, and brought them to the island of Lampedusa.  Last month, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy that the burden of immigration to the EU should not fall on its smallest member.

While Malta would do its compassionate duty, he added, it would not leave its doors open wide and “welcome boats from Libya and elsewhere as if nothing happened”.  “Call us harsh, call us heartless, but we are not pushovers,” the Maltese prime minister said.

article via bbc.co.uk