March 23, Akron, OH– Asian Services in Action (ASIA) is proud to announce and support the reintroduction of the New Deal for New Americans Act (H.R. 1643), a comprehensive piece of legislation designed to support the inclusion, economic growth, and civic engagement of immigrants and refugees. On March 21st, National Partnership for New Americans, a partner of ASIA, hosted Senator Markey (D-Mass) and Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06) for a virtual press conference to mark the reintroduction of the New Deal for New Americans Act.
The bicameral New Deal for New Americans Act is endorsed by ASIA and sponsored by First Vice-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06), Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Congressional Hispanic Caucus member, Rep. Jesús G. “Chuy” García (IL-04), Sen. Markey (D-Mass), and Sen. Hirono (D-HI).
“ASIA is proud to support the New Deal for New Americans Act for it creates a more inclusive, welcoming, and holistic immigration system that helps immigrant communities and individuals thrive in their journey of making the United States their home. By supporting immigrants and refugees in overcoming issues such as language, naturalization, and employment barriers, we would further strengthen our economy, democracy, and honor our identity as a nation of immigrants,” said Elaine Tso, CEO of ASIA.
“Restarting your life and a new community, culture, country, and trying to learn a new language are just some of the examples of the challenges that our immigrant communities face. The New Deal for New Americans Act would literally help break down barriers, promote integration and prosperity, and provide protections for the countless new immigrants that would call America their home,” stated Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY).
Measures of New Deal for New Americans Act include:
- Establishing a National Office of New Americans within the White House to promote and support immigrant inclusion and coordinate efforts of federal, state, and local governments to support social, economic, and civic inclusion.
- Reducing barriers for individuals to naturalize by establishing a flat application fee for naturalization, amending the English and civics exam requirements for older individuals, and exempting eligible U.S. high school graduates from taking the naturalization exams.
- Protecting fee waivers and expanding reduced fee applications for immigration benefits.
- Establishing Grant Programs for community-based organizations and other entities that offer immigration legal services for those applying for immigration relief, English classes, and workforce development training.
- Limiting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) ability to raise fees without Congress’ approval, allowing for authorization of appropriations to cover USCIS’ need to operate and adjudicate cases.
- Promoting civic engagement through automatic voter registration of newly naturalized individuals.
- Increasing Refugee Admissions level to 125,000 per fiscal year.
“Whether it is a DREAMER, who has only ever known the United States as home, or a TPS holder renewing their status, we have a responsibility to both of them and ensure that they have the opportunities and resources to thrive and not just survive in the United States,” emphasized Sen. Ed Marky (D-MA). “[The New Deal for New Americans Act] treats immigrants as future citizens, not strangers. It is about shepherding, not shunning them.”
For more information on the New Deal for New Americans Act, please look at a copy of the legislation.
ASIA is the largest health and human services agency that serves, supports, and advocates for the Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) community of Northeast Ohio. ASIA focuses on providing linguistically and culturally centered services for immigrants and refugees.
MEDIA CONTACT: Anna Chen
PHONE: (216) 410-3889