ASIA's Press Event (04/04/13) coverage on Global Cleveland


Proposed Elimination of Family-Based Visas Would Hurt the Growth of Cleveland’S Asian Community

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Proposed legislation to eliminate two family-related immigration categories would impede the growth of the Asian community in Greater Cleveland and could hurt the local and national economy. The Senate “Gang of 8” is calling for removing two priority family immigration categories: Unmarried “Adult” Children (over 21), and Married Adult Children & Brothers/Sisters (“Siblings”). Family-based visas, however, have been critical to the success of most Asian- American business owners, as many rely on family support, according to local immigration attorney Jayashree Bidari.

There is a “false brain-vs.-blood idea that exists,” Bidari explained during a panel discussion on April 4 organized by ASIA Inc. to highlight this issue. “Immigrant founders and co-founders of companies like EBay, Yahoo and Google came to the U.S. on family-based visas, not employment-based visas.”

If the legislation passes, there will be a tremendous impact on the Asian community in Cleveland and throughout the U.S. Presently, there are 4.3 million people waiting to receive their visas; almost 2 million (nearly 50%) of those individuals are Asian. According to the 2007 Census, Asian-American business owners in Ohio generated over $6.7 million in revenues, employed over 51,000 people, and paid out over $1.3 million in annual payroll.

Panelists at the April 4 discussion included, left to right: Bessie Schiroky, Jayashree Bidari, Gia Hoa Ryan, and Michael Byun

More than 11 organizations, including Global Cleveland, attended the panel discussion at the Philippine Cultural Center to generate awareness on this topic. There will be a rally on April 10 in Washington, D.C. to advocate for keeping family-based visas. If interested in attending this rally, contact Rui Zhang, Program Communication and Policy Assistant at ASIA Inc. (330)535-3263.

For more information, contact:
Asian Services in Action –
Association of Philippine Physicians of Ohio –
Cleveland-area Sikh Community
Federation of Indian Community Associations –
Global Cleveland –
Korean American Association of Greater Cleveland –
Organization of Chinese Americans of Greater Cleveland –
Philippine American Society of Ohio –
Philippine Nurses Association of Ohio –
Salaam Cleveland –
Vietnamese Association of Greater Cleveland