How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Who had to wait the longest for a green card this month?

Source: Visa Bulletin for May 2011, U.S. Department of State

Nations with current longest waits for family-sponsored based immigrant visas: The priority dates shown are when applicants now up for processing filed their petitions. (Source: Visa Bulletin for May 2011, U.S. Department of State)

Now that it's June, it's time for another look at the U.S. State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin. Who has been waiting the longest time for an immigrant visa this month?

As is the norm, the line of people being sponsored by relatives to come to the United States legally has been inching along slowly. Like last month, those who have endured the longest wait are hopeful immigrants from the Philippines who filed their petitions back in the late 1980s.

Here's the breakdown of the top four categories who have endured the longest waits:

1) Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens from the Philippines, a wait of more than 23 years (petitions filed May 1, 1988).

2) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from the Philippines, a wait of more than 19 years (petitions filed March 8, 1992)

3) Unmarried adult (21 and over) sons and daughters of U.S. legal permanent residents from Mexico, a wait of close to 19 years (petitions filed August 22, 1992)

4) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from Mexico, a wait of close to 19 years (petitions filed November 15, 1992)

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Disappointed winners of scratched visa lottery cry '22,000 Tears'

Last month, when the U.S. State Department scratched the results of its 2012 green card lottery due to a computer glitch, thousands of hopeful immigrants who had thought they'd won a chance to live in the United States were crushed to learn they wouldn't be coming here after all.

So some of them took their disappointment online.

The members of a Facebook group of irked lottery winners called "22,000 Tears" have been rejoicing news that the federal government plans to investigate the visa lottery program, and have been taking some of the credit. The page is named for the roughly 22,000 people who were notified they had won the lottery before being told the results would be voided, and that they would have to enter the drawing once more.

The Facebook page was launched in protest, complete with several videos and a petition urging supporters to sign it "so the US Goverment can do something about it," as the petition page reads. After news stories of a planned investigation began appearing, members on the page today posted elated messages from their native countries:

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Will the U.S. see more refugees from unrest in the Middle East?

Photo by syriana2011/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Protesters in Damascus, Syria, April 2011

A video series on Multi-American this week is featuring the stories of Southern California immigrants from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria, all of them coping in their own way with the political upheaval taking place in their native countries.

But what about their loved ones and others back home, those directly affected by violence and instability, especially in conflict zones like Libya? Will more of them be coming to the United States as refugees?

Officials from both the U.S. State Department and the United Nations agency that handles refugees have said that they have not seen a notable increase in nationals of those countries affected by what has become known as the "Arab Spring" seeking to come to the U.S. as refugees. However, the agencies are seeing resettlement demand among people who were already refugees, particularly in Libya, who are being displaced once more by the conflict there.

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Longest waits for immigrant visas: January

Source: Visa Bulletin for January 2011, U.S. Department of State

Nations with current longest waits for family-sponsored based immigrant visas: The priority dates shown are when applicants now up for processing filed their petitions.

It's January, which means it's time for our monthly feature on the longest waits for green cards. Last month, the people who became eligible for immigrant visas after waiting the longest had endured a wait of 23 years, having filed their petitions in early 1988.

This month it's no different, according to the U.S. State Department’s Visa Bulletin. Some of the hopeful immigrants whose number is up to receive a green card this month have been waiting in line since January 1988. That was before the launch of the World Wide Web, when acid-washed jeans were considered fashionable, and before most people had ever heard of grunge rock.

Immigrant visas have technically become available for those whose priority dates, i.e. the dates on which petitions were filed, are listed in the bulletin. This month, the longest waits have been endured by:

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Longest waits for immigrant visas: December

Source: Visa Bulletin for November 2010, U.S. Department of State

Nations with current longest waits for family-sponsored based immigrant visas: The priority dates shown are when applicants now up for processing filed their petitions.

It's well into December, which means it's time to post the longest current waits as listed in the U.S. State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin.

Immigrant visas have technically become available for those whose priority dates, i.e. the dates on which their petitions were filed, are listed in the bulletin. And this month, the hopeful immigrants who have been waiting the longest to come legally have been in line since the beginning of 1988. That's right, their petitions were filed in the eighties.

As listed in this month’s Visa Bulletin, the longest waits have been endured by:

1) Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens from the Philippines, a wait of nearly 23 years (petitions filed January 1, 1988).

2) Unmarried adult (21 and over) sons and daughters of U.S. legal permanent residents from Mexico, a wait of more than 18 years (petitions filed June 22, 1992)

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