VOL. XV NO. 11
We have a new look, not only to reflect our magazine's warm focus on issues we care about, but also to highlight that season in
Wisconsin where beautiful colors of nature change to signify a future rebirth
On our 15th year, we're rebooting, hoping to continue our work with greater enthusiasm and lots of inspiration.
Take this new journey with us and together, let us explore news and ideas that would help us get more informed and our minds
more active.
We are dedicating this new rebirth to our beloved supporters and readers in Wisconsin and beyond!
Editor's Corner/Over a Cup of Tea
                            Stepping back on migrant-asylum policy  
Heidi M. Pascual
Publisher & Editor
2006 Journalist of the year
for the State of Wisconsin
Wisconsin Academy Conference Will Deliver "Fast Track" Climate Change
Strategy for Wisconsin
By Jonathan Gramling
Part 4
*Alexander Bajoon has explored a lot of facets of high school life while establishing
a solid academic foundation at Verona High. Alexander performed in high school
musicals, Shakespeare performances and performed vocal jazz. He competed in
track & field and was active in Red Cross Club, student council, Gender Sexuality
Alliance, peer court, and restorative justice. Alexander has been active in the
Internet video game world serving as a community helper and player moderator for
Janex online videos. Alexander is an alumni of Badger Boys State, participated in
Stanford Intensive Law and Trial and volunteered with the Verona Police Department
through the Verona Explorer Post. Alexander is graduating cum laude, received a
dean scholarship and will be studying neurosciences and civic engagement at
Cornell University where he also hopes to attend medical school.
*A National Honor Society member,
Ragini Bora has been in perfect academic form
during her Verona High career. Ragini competed in varsity tennis. She exhibits a lot
of care for students and community as the founder and president of Red Cross Club,
the first in the state. Ragini also mentored students at Sugar Creek Elementary School
and did community service through Interact Club. Ragini has shown an interest in the
health field through her volunteerism at St. Mary’s Hospital, Agrace Hospice and the
Alzheimer’s Association. She also volunteered at Horizon Elementary’s summer
school and at Ratneshwari Elementary School in Assam, India. In her free time,
Ragini has devoted herself to the study of Indian Classical Dance, passing Kathak
dance, levels 1-3, with distinction and certified for levels 1-3, the Imperial Society of
Teachers of Dancing in London, England. Ragini was named a National Merit
Scholar and AP Scholar with Distinction and earned a Sentry Insurance National
Merit Scholarship. She is a Distinguished Young Woman of Dane County and was
named an Outstanding Young Person by the Urban League and Rotary Club Student
of the Month. Ragini was a round three finalist in the New York Times Editorial
Contest and received the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Ragini will use
Kemper Knapp and William Vilas scholarships to attend UW-Madison this fall.--
Recently, the Trump Administration issued a rule that requires asylum-seeking immigrants to first apply for
refugee status in another country en route to the US. Clearly, this is another hurdle that aims to slow the
entry of immigrants. While the rule specifically targets asylees passing through the Southern Border, it also
affects all the rest coming from other countries.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) defines asylum as “a discretionary benefit offered by the United States Government to those
fleeing persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”

This tradition reflects the humanitarian side of our country that has become a refuge for many people persecuted in their home countries
for reasons stated above. While the same could become abused by political despots friendly to the US but ousted from power by their own
people (or military uprising), in most cases, the beneficiaries of this traditional policy are truly those unjustly persecuted and whose lives
(as well as their families’) are in danger.

I therefore see no reason why there is a need for an asylee to seek for a refugee status in a third country before applying for asylum in the
US, except to put another bar to immigration. Asylum seekers are running for their lives, why require them to seek refuge in a third
country first when they can be protected by the US right away? Our DHS and immigration people are supposed to be experts at checking
the backgrounds of asylum seekers, so I am confident no one that fall under the category of “US enemy” will be permitted to enter our
country. A refugee status from another country just means the background check will be done by the third country. How sure are we of
the efficiency and accuracy of this initial check? And once disapproved in third country, there’s no way the asylum seeker can enter the
US. Time is of the essence here. It’s like getting oblivious to whatever happens to someone asking for help, or asking for protection. Our
country is therefore turning its back on its traditional practice of helping people in distress, those knocking at our doors, sometimes those
getting away from wars which we are involved in ourselves.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is planning to question this rule in court, as it believes that the new rule is not only unlawful
but a unilateral reversal of the US “legal and moral commitment” to protect people facing grave danger in their countries. --
5 Ways People of
Faith Have Led
LGBTQ Advocacy
Efforts Since the
1969 Stonewall Riots
By Emily London
June 28th marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, often
deemed as the catalyst for the modern LGBTQ rights movement. On
June 28, 1969, police raided New York City’s Stonewall Inn, a bar and
gathering space for members of the LGBTQ community. Riots ensued
between the police and LGBTQ patrons and passersby, led by
transgender women of color including Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia
Rivera. Despite high-profile examples of faith-based opposition to
LGBTQ rights since the riots, these anti-equality viewpoints do not
reflect the attitudes of all faith communities. Faith leaders and religious
communities have also played a key role in the LGBTQ rights
movement.  --
5 Reasons to Support
Affirmative Action in
College Admissions
How to Support Democracy and Human Rights
in Asia
By Michael Fuchs
There is a growing struggle in Asia between authoritarian forces and
the people attempting to stand up for human rights and democracy.
From the crackdown on mass protests in Hong Kong, to genocide in
Myanmar, to extrajudicial killings and attacks on government critics in
the Philippines, to the detention of more than 1 million Uighur Muslims
in concentration camps in western China, the situation can appear
bleak. While these and other abuses of power playing out across Asia
are not unique to the region, the continued deterioration of human
rights and democracy in Asia could have disastrous consequences,
not only for the region but also for the United States.

Faced with mounting challenges to universal rights in Asia, U.S.
policymakers often have difficult decisions to make: What tools can the
United States deploy to ameliorate the situation? How can U.S. action
tangibly support human rights? . --
The Anti-Immigrant
Extremists in Charge of
the U.S. Immigration
By Jessica Cobian
The anti-immigrant movement has increasingly gained influence over the past
decade, reaching a high point during the Trump administration. Top administrative
positions in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have been filled by right-
wing extremists, many with close ties to hate groups. As a result, anti-immigrant
policies that used to be regarded as extreme have been normalized, and
dehumanizing rhetoric toward immigrants has become rampant in mainstream

The new wave of anti-immigrant extremists leading DHS is responsible for
overseeing the nation’s entire immigration system, from adjudicating visa
petitions and applications for citizenship and asylum to handling arrests and
deportations. These extremists have also played a role in, or defended, policies
that outrage many Americans, such as family separation, the increased use of ICE
raids, and the disparagement of locations that have sanctuary policies..
Wisconsin  Gov. Evers takes another step
toward cleaner drinking water
Misplaced power at the border
By Heidi M. Pascual
As an immigrant and now a US citizen – and of course, after 9/11
-- I am very aware of the herculean task assigned to our
immigration officers at our ports of entry, including our southern
borders. They have been trained to spot people who want to
enter the United States to harm our country, or to illegally work,
or to overstay as an undocumented immigrant, or to be a danger
to themselves and be a burden to the government. They have
been empowered to decide who are permitted to enter and who
should not. During the present administration, this “power” has
become absolute in ways that stifle a person’s freedom to even
connect to relatives or friends who are waiting for them in the
By Connor Maxwell and Sara Garcia
For much of American history, elite colleges and universities were largely
reserved for wealthy, predominantly white Americans. Only in the 20th century
did these institutions begin to actively prioritize diversity and expand access by
adopting tools such as affirmative action—the narrowly tailored practice of
considering race and ethnicity as part of a holistic evaluation of a student’s
application. Affirmative action is one of the best tools colleges and universities
have to promote diversity and ensure that those who are otherwise shut out of
the American postsecondary system have a chance to earn a quality degree. --
MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers continued to demonstrate his
commitment to clean drinking water with an executive order
yesterday that addresses a class of chemicals called PFAS,
which are linked to adverse health effects such as cancer and
developmental issues. --
MADISON — On November 8, 2019, the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters and partners will bring
together the state's best strategic thinkers on climate change for Climate Fast Forward, a working conference
designed to "fast forward" solutions for carbon reduction and climate resilience in Wisconsin.

Held at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison, Climate Fast Forward will include a
projected 300 leaders from a variety of sectors in Wisconsin. Climate Fast Forward participants will work
together to develop key recommendations for how Wisconsin can become a clean energy leader with a practical
plan to deal with climate change. These key recommendations will be shared with top-level decision makers,
the media, and the general public as a call to fast-track Wisconsin's response to climate change.

"The extreme weather and extensive flooding we are seeing throughout the state are just two of the many
compelling reasons why the people of Wisconsin can no longer wait to address our changing climate," says
Academy executive director Jane Elder. "While Wisconsin has the scientific and technological capacities to be a
national leader in reducing carbon emissions and strengthening environmental resilience, we lack a statewide
strategy for addressing climate change. The Climate Fast Forward conference is an opportunity to advance
ready-to-go solutions and deliver a climate change strategy that will benefit the entire state."--