AAJC Welcomes President Obama’s Plan for Immigration and Family Reunification

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Smiler Greely and his family.

Smiler Greely and his family.

WASHINGTON - Today President Barack Obama unveiled his plan for commonsense immigration reform. In reiterating his commitment to fix our broken immigration system, he outlined four general themes: update our antiquated immigration system to keep families together, strengthen border security, hold employers accountable for unfair practices and create a roadmap for citizenship.

The president’s plan reflects the American values of fairness, diversity and opportunity, which he extolled in his inauguration speech. The Asian American Justice Center, a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, applauds the president’s announcement.

“Last November, our communities spoke loudly and clearly that our immigration system needs a commonsense overhaul and today the president has made good on his campaign promise,” said Mee Moua, AAJC’s president and executive director. “For too long the system has failed Asian American families by forcing them to live apart, sometimes for decades. Today’s announcement signals the changing of the tide on immigration reform.”

Nearly 73 percent of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders voted for Obama in November. In a post-election survey, 54 percent of Asian Americans polled identified visa backlogs as a significant problem for their families.

Within the president’s plan to keep families together, it outlines steps for extending immigration benefits to same-sex partners, recapturing unused visas and raising annual caps per country for family-sponsored visas. AAJC is pleased to see family reunification as a top priority in the president’s plan and looks forward to working with Senate leaders on determining the details related to their principles.

For more information on the president’s principles please visit here.

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