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OCA Applauds New Steps Towards Comprehensive Immigration Reform
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OCA Applauds New Steps Towards Comprehensive Immigration Reform

March 23, 2007

Hope Chu, Communications Manager, 202-223-5500

OCA Applauds New Steps Towards Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Washington, DC - OCA, a national Asian Pacific American (APA) organization dedicated to ensuring social justice for APAs, welcomes the announcement of a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill today by Representatives Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ). 

"This represents a step in the right direction towards bringing immigration law in line with reality and long-awaited movement in Washington on the issue," said Ginny Gong, National President, "In particular, we welcome measures in the bill which would decrease or eliminate long waiting periods for family reunification.  Currently, some families have been waiting for literally decades to be reunited with children, parents, and siblings.  The STRIVE act would have an enormous impact on APA families who have been separated for too long."

The Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy (STRIVE) act would impact many aspects of immigration law that are of special concern to the APA community, which represents about 5% of the US population.  Asians also constitute approximately 1 million of the 12 million undocumented immigrants currently in the US. 

"The bill sends a positive message to immigrants that their contributions - social, cultural, and economic - to society are valued.  We especially applaud the movement towards family reunification but also want to stress the importance of legal residence for the majority of undocumented immigrants who are hard-working and law-abiding," said Michael Lin, Executive Director, " We encourage members of Congress to keep this promise to the millions of people making positive contributions to the US."While positive about the proposed law overall, OCA expressed concerns about certain aspects of the bill, including the proposed "touch-back" provision, which would require undocumented immigrants working towards legal status to leave the country and return legally at least once. 

"This measure would cause undue hardship on families already struggling to survive, as well as on the immigration agencies attempting to track such movement," said Hope Chu, Communications Manager, "We appreciate the political necessity of including this requirement, but urge Congress to rethink this particular piece of this important legislation.  Clearly, there are still many improvements that can be made to immigration law, but we are optimistic about the STRIVE act and believe that it is an important first step." 

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OCA National Center
1322 18th St. NW
Washington, DC 20036
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