Editor's Note: As a continuing tribute to our beloved late columnist, Paul Kusuda, who passed November 2017, we are
re-posting his past columns, which are timeless, informative, and very educational. We will always miss Paul, our number
one supporter and adviser. Through his columns, we know that our readers would learn plenty about contemporary issues,
as well as part of American history relating to the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, and his
Column of March 2010
version will continue]. Impact of the nation’s and local economy has been long felt by the Wiz publisher. Meeting production costs depends
more on advertisers than subscribers. Recently, many of those who place ads had to reduce their expenditures, and one way has been to cut
ads. Sigh. Oh, well.
Understanding of and accepting one another may have changed a little. I wonder how much minimally-visible non-acceptance continues to be
there — race, religion, sex, age, sexual preference, physical appearance, disability, etc. Unfortunately, little positive change has occurred in the
past 60 years with respect to naturalization even though the number of immigrants has increased.
Last month, I stated my preference for relaxation of naturalization regulations for specifically-qualified legal immigrants and undocumented
aliens. I pointed out that the U.S. Congress has for its perusal and hopeful acceptance S. 729 and HR. 1951, the DREAM Act (Development,
Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act). It’s definitely a step to correct a not-so-good situation, but more needs to be done for other groups.
Many conditions have to be met before potentially-eligible persons under 35 at the time the Act is passed can apply for legal permanent
resident status, the necessary first step to eventual U.S. citizenship. Estimates have been made that about 65,000 undocumented alien
students graduate high school annually. That number includes children of persons who come to the U.S. through the visa process and are not
eligible for the first step toward becoming legal permanent residents. They are children who go through public schools and may want to get
post-high school education, get better jobs, earn more money, and become tax-paying members of America’s middle class. They can be part
of America’s future if allowed to stay in the U.S. and become naturalized citizens.
For those who meet eligibility requirements of the DREAM Act, many advantages are available in addition to being granted a six-year temporary
residence status prior to legal permanent residency. They can apply for student loans and work-study programs (but not Pell grants). Also,
depending on final wording of the legislation, states would be permitted to provide the same benefits to children of immigrants as provided to
Despite the positives, there are many requirements and potential problem considerations. For example, what might be the definition of good
moral character”? How might an applied definition be contested? A student’s six-year temporary residence status may be taken away if
education or military service requirements are not met within the six years. Also, the student must not commit any crime other than specified
non-drug misdemeanors. Conviction of a major crime (not defined) or drug-related infraction would result in loss of temporary residence
status and probable deportation.\
The “carrot and stick” provisions are there, but an optimistic view is that immigration laws are being re-evaluated to enable more to enter the
naturalization process. More changes have to be made to enable persons who enter the U.S. through the visa process (and who would opt to
become U.S. citizens) be naturalized. At present, it appears the only way is through marriage to a U.S. citizen. That’s fine for single persons
who are fortunate enough to fall in love and get married. Hazards are present, of course, so other means must be made available. Congress
needs to formulate an avenue such that more aliens may become naturalized citizens. How long will it take to begin the next step toward
improving immigration laws? If we start now, the wait will be shorter.
March is kind of nice because it means that we’re almost through with Wisconsin’s annual cold winter
months with all the snow and ice we have to face not only in the morning but throughout the entire day. Atsuko
and I have been in Madison since Spring 1951. That’s quite a number of years, and we’ve seen all kinds of
changes. However, many important social conditions have either changed very little or not at all. The economy
certainly went downhill.
Unfortunately, March also marks the month of indefinite suspension of Asian Wisconzine’s printed version. I
look forward to the time when the suspension will be suspended and AWiz resumes [Editor’s note: the online