Immigration advocates host forums and clinics

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 31, 2013

LOS ANGELES– It may not yet be on the House of Representatives agenda but it remains a hot topic in Los Angeles. Immigrant rights advocates have held a series of forums discussing immigration reform. One town hall hosted by Asian and Latino leaders dedicated the evening to the undocumented students that crossed the Arizona border and were detained a few weeks ago.

The main concerns throughout Los Angeles are a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented and the possible elimination of certain family based petitions.

“We are for a pathway to citizenship but unfortunately the provisions would cut off a number of people because of the date involved and there is a number of requirements so there will be a long waiting period to become a permanent legal resident,” said Asian Americans Advancing Justice executive director Stewart Kwoh.

While immigration reform has stalled in the House after it passed in the Senate, Asians Americans Advancing Justice said there is a bipartisan gang of seven, and advocates are putting pressure on them to take the lead in making a compromise bill.

Advocates said Filipinos rank the highest in the number of family petitions in the world, but also have the longest wait times.

“Without family based petitioning, my older brothers and sisters wouldn’t have been able to come here, of course my parents. It’s probably a big story for a lot of people who are filipino American,” explained Tiffany Panlilio, a legal advocate for Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

The group is now bracing for the worse, opening a low cost self-filing clinic for petitioners to file for their adult children and siblings.

They also hope it encourages lesbian gay bisexual and transgender couples who were recently granted federal benefits to petition their spouses.

They advise that families look into getting their petitions in before an immigration overhaul potentially changes the rules.

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  • deliasuional
    31 July 2013 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Okay noz, delia and the rest of the gang. Here goes another for you to comment your makeshift opinions.