Asian-Americans are taking an active role in the current immigration debate. The bill that passed the Senate in June has a section, which, if made into law, would ban citizens from sponsoring naturalization of siblings and children age 31 and over. Many immigrants view this family reunification section of the bill as unjust and unfair.
Previously, many Asians have been able to immigrate to the U.S. because a sibling who was already a U.S. citizen has sponsored them. Under the current law, spouses, children under 21, and parents of U.S. citizens get priority and do not have to wait for a visa. Relatives, including adult children and siblings are also eligible to receive visas but at a lower priority. The new proposed bill eliminates the ability of citizens to sponsor siblings and adult children.
Los Angeles neighborhoods that have high concentrations of Asian-Americans are mobilizing to make people aware of the potential repeal of current family reunification policies. Many in this population have benefitted by the sponsorship policies and are concerned about the possible change. According to Nathanel Lowe, spokesman for Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ), “We’re asking folks to call their member of Congress to support immigration reform that is fair, just and humane.”