For Immediate Release
February 5, 2013
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Contact: Deborah Wang; email@example.com; (330) 645-5805
ASIA Applauds Senate and President Obama for Prioritizing Immigration Reform
AKRON/CLEVELAND—Asian Services In Action, Inc. (ASIA) applauds last week’s Senate announcement of a bipartisan proposal to reform the nation’s immigration policies, as well as President Obama’s blueprint for immigration reform, also unveiled last week. Achieving a fair, humane, and rational immigration system remains a top priority for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AA & NHPIs), who together comprise the fastest-growing racial group in the United States. Immigrants account for approximately 60% of the Asian American community alone; and approximately 73% of Asian American voters cast their ballots for President Obama in the 2012 General Election.
Both the Senate proposal—introduced by a bipartisan group of Senators known as the “Gang of 8”—and the President’s blueprint call for measures which will fundamentally improve the viability and well-being of AA & NHPI families: i) reducing the visa backlogs which cause family members to be separated for as long as two decades; and ii) establishing a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants who live, work, and contribute to the United States.
Family separation due to visa backlogs has been a decades-long issue for the AA & NHPI community. 54% of Asian Americans indicate that visa backlogs are a significant problem for their families, with 38% indicating that it is a “very serious” or “fairly serious” problem. The commitment of the nation’s leaders to family reunification will also impact Pacific Islanders living in the U.S. and freely associated states.
As a health and human services agency serving the Asian American and Pacific Islander community of Northeast Ohio, ASIA joins national AA & NHPI advocacy organizations in calling on President Obama and Congress to propose immigration legislation which includes expanded access to health care coverage and preventive care to immigrants. Immigrants who must turn to the emergency room cost federal and state governments billions of dollars in uncompensated care annually. ASIA also urges Congress and the President to eliminate arbitrary rules which deny essential care to Pacific Islanders from the Compact of Free Association nations.
ASIA looks forward to a conversation around rational, comprehensive immigration reform in the coming months.
Asian Services In Action
Founded in 1995, Asian Services In Action’s mission is to empower and advocate for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders (AAPIs); and to provide AAPIs access to quality, culturally, and linguistically appropriate information and services. Visit www.asiaohio.org to learn more. Follow ASIA on Facebook and Twitter!
 Asian Pacific American Legal Center. APALC PLEASED WITH THE COMMITMENT TO IMMIGRATION REFORM BY PRESIDENT OBAMA AND THE SENATE BIPARTISAN GROUP. 31 January 2013. Document. 4 February 2013.
 Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations. AAPCHO Applauds Bipartisan Action To Overhaul Immigration Process. 29 January 2013. Document. 4 February 2013.