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Researchers claim evidence of bias in approving an immigrant visa

The problems that exist within the immigration policies of this country have taken center stage following the influx of unaccompanied minors this past summer and the recent executive order. However, two researchers claim to have found yet another problem within the area of the approval process of immigrant visas. Some North Carolina residents may have experienced this possible bias themselves when applying for a green card.

According to a new paper about to be released, two professors at prominent universities claim to have discovered that applications for those from Hispanic nations were less likely to be approved than those from Asian nations. The two professors were careful to ensure that every other variable was controlled. They found that green card hopefuls from the Asian countries were approved for visas more than 90 percent of the time.

Conversely, applicants from the Latin American countries were only approved at just under 67 percent of the time. The study was conducted over a 40-month span and took all applications into consideration, whether they were approved or rejected. However, the men did not propose that the perceived discrimination was an intentional decision on the part of the officials. In fact, in situations where an audit was conducted and an applicant's entire file was reviewed, the purported bias was no longer an issue.

The researchers proposed that the possible discrimination may no longer exist if officials review an applicant's complete file in light of one's qualifications with irrelevant information related to their native country removed temporarily. The professors base this recommendation on the belief that an immigrant from the Latin American countries may be viewed unconsciously as less capable than an Asian counterpart. Regardless of one's native homeland, any resident from North Carolina who believes that he or she has been a victim of discrimination, or who has experienced any other issues related to one's legal status or with his or her immigration visa, is ensured of the right to seek assistance from those knowledgeable of the current immigration policies.

Source:, "Green Card Study Shows Bias for Asians Over Latinos", Rob Garver, Nov. 23, 2014

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