Prioritizing Family in Comprehensive Reform

Dear Friends:

The Asian American Action Fund of Greater Chicago (AAAF-GC) joined the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), California Congressman Mike Honda, and local Asian American businesses and community leaders today for a press conference to keep Asian American families together as part of the comprehensive immigration reform package currently being negotiated in Washington.

Recent discussions reveal the legislation – expected to be announced this week – will cut funding for family visas, a longstanding pillar of American immigration policy. In fact, family sponsorship is the most common way Asian Americans immigrate to the U.S. According to ICIRR, nearly half of 4.3 million people currently waiting in the visa backlog are of Asian descent.

AAAF-GC strongly supports preserving family sponsorship as part of broader immigration reform. For decades, this mechanism has been a fair and effective way for keeping families together. Asian and Pacific Islanders (API’s) represent the fastestgrowing ethnic group in Illinois. API’s, like all people, are best positioned to positively contribute to our communities and the economy when our families are intact, so we must preserve family visas.

AAAF-GC commends Senator Richard J. Durbin for his leadership on the immigration issue, and thanks the chorus of Illinois House Members including Congressman Luis Gutierrez and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky who have come out in support of family visas. We reiterate that any immigration reform package must provide an avenue for family sponsorship in order to be effective.

You can take action by urging your elected officials to do the right thing and protect family visas by clicking here.

Thank you,

Jae Choi Kim
Asian American Action Fund of Greater Chicago