ASIAN AMERICANS CALL FOR FAMILY REUNIFICATION IN IMMIGRATION OVERHAUL

Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

April 3, 2013

LOS ANGELES–Senators are expected to introduce an immigration overhaul within the coming days. The proposals are expected to include a guest worker program, a path to legalization for the undocumented, and the elimination of certain family petitions. Filipinos joined the Asian Pacific American Legal Center and Democratic Congresswoman Judy Chu in asking the “Gang of 8” senators who are drafting immigration legislation to keep family petitions intact.

“We are actually 40% of the backlog. We are a large part of the family visa backlog so I have worked as hard as I can to make sure our voice is heard in the immigration debate” said the California congresswoman.

Asian American groups have launched Asian Pacific Islanders for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (API Fire) to lobby lawmakers for a fair immigration reform bill. Many of them shared their own immigration story.

“When my dad came here in the seventies he started petitioning his brothers and sisters in the 80s and it wasn’t until like 2001 they were able to come. By that time my relatives were already elderly,” explained Alex Montances of the Filipino Migrant Center.

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