The American dream was created on the idea that those seeking opportunity could come to the United States and build better lives for their families. The family unit is the bedrock of our American society, but for too long our broken immigration system has hurt families by keeping loved ones apart for years, sometimes decades. Too many are living in limbo, waiting for a broken bureaucracy to allow close family members to join their American relatives.
Almost 4.3 million close family members are waiting around the world to be reunited with a loved one in the United States. This inhumane policy keeps husband from wife, and mother from child for years on end. This policy is not in keeping with our country’s founding principles.
The Asian American Justice Center’s Reuniting Families Campaign works to secure common sense solutions for our family-based immigration system. Through community education and political advocacy, the Campaign will push for legislative fixes to the inhumane family backlogs. Our mission is to ensure that family reunification is part of the immigration reform solution.
Keeping families together is good for our communities, our economy, and all Americans.
- A robust and effective immigration system will enrich our communities with culture, bolster our economy, and build a stronger society for our nation.
- Immigrant families have the highest entrepreneurial rate of any group living in the U.S. Every year from 1996-2008, according to the Kauffman Foundation, more immigrants started their own businesses than native-born Americans — creating jobs for all Americans.
- Immigrant family members create a strong social support system for one another, pooling resources to start businesses and buy homes, providing a safety net if someone falls on hard times, and helping each another integrate into our communities.
Current debate is pointing to the possible reduction of family-sponsorship visas as part of a Senate bill on immigration reform. At risk are family preference categories that allow U.S. Citizens and Green Card holders to sponsor adult children, siblings, and even parents.
We cannot allow immigration policies to limit how we define our families!
Approximately 60% of Asian Americans are foreign-born, and with so many close loved ones overseas, the Asian American community relies on family-sponsorship visas to keep our families together. Nearly half of the 4.3 million family members currently waiting for family-sponsored visas are relatives of Asian Americans.
We must ensure our Senators hear from their Asian American constituents on this issue. March 25 – April 5 is the State Work Period for members of Congress – this would be an excellent time to reach out to your Senators to share AAPI concerns for immigration reform.
For more information on the Reuniting Families Campaign, please contact Anthony Bowman, Community Partners Network Manager at ReunitingFamilies@advancingequality.org or (202) 296-2300, ext. 123.