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OCA Commends the President’s Support of Immigrants and Access to Higher Education

Tuesday, January 12, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Nick Lee
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

12 January 2016

CONTACT

Nick Lee | Communications Associate

202 223 5500 | nlee@ocanational.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates commends the President’s support of action on immigration, opportunity in higher education, and access to broadband internet.

During the State of the Union Address, the President renewed his calls for comprehensive immigration reform.

“We were pleased to see the President renew calls for immigration reform. He will be highly regarded for compassionately standing up for undocumented immigrants when Congress failed to enact the will of the majority of American citizens who are in favor of immigration reform,” said Ken Lee, OCA Chief Executive Officer. “However, it is deeply concerning that deportations of refugees from Central America have escalated recently, oftentimes without necessary due process or legal resources for deportees. As a community whose roots are often in the refugee experience, we caution the President against staining his record on immigration with deportations that hurt families.”

The President also mentioned two key areas that policy makers can act on this year: access to higher education and broadband internet.

“Higher education is a vital pathway out of poverty for many first generation college students, and should not be a privilege reserved for the wealthy or those born in this country,” said Lee. “Although Asian Americans attend college at high rates as a whole, there are much lower rates of educational attainment in many parts of our community as a result of poverty. For example, while 73% of Taiwanese students receive their bachelor’s degree, less than 14% of Hmong, Cambodian, and Lao students complete postsecondary education. Undocumented students are particularly disadvantaged, because they are unable to access financial aid from the federal government. Federal financial aid to include undocumented students and support Pell Grants so that all students in the United States are allowed the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. Congress must fully reauthorize the Higher Education Act this year with these aims in mind.”

“In addition to federal student aid, a crucial step will be improving access to broadband internet,” continued Lee. “In an increasingly technologically dependent world, broadband internet is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Ensuring broadband internet access will help Asian American and Pacific Islander students achieve success in the highly competitive world economy, and we are glad to hear the President’s support on this issue. We call upon the FCC to support our students by modernizing the Lifeline program to include broadband internet access for low-income consumers.”

OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national organization of community advocates dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs).

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