|OCA Supports the Reuniting Families ActFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
20 May 2009
Sarah Smith Nester | Communications Manager
202 223 5500 | firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. — OCA, a national organization dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs), supports Senators Robert Menendez (NJ), Ted Kennedy (MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), and Charles Schumer (NY) as they introduce the Reuniting Families Act today in the Senate.
"Asian Pacific Americans will be particularly affected by this legislation because they heavily rely on family sponsorship to keep their family units intact,” said OCA National President Ken Lee. "Our community contributes a significant amount both economically and culturally, and it is in America ’s best interest to support APA immigrants and their families.
”This bill would improve America ’s outdated family-based immigration system, which is necessary to keeping American families together. Millions of close family members of U.S. citizens and green card holders are caught in the visa backlog, and for some APA families the wait is longer than 20 years. This bill would promote stability in American communities and foster the economic growth that immigrant families have provided throughout our history.
Specifically, this bill would take unused and unclaimed visas from 1992 to 2007 and place them back into the pool of current visas for families and employers to utilize; take unused visas in future fiscal years and "roll them over” to the next year; and increase the per country limits of family and employment-based visas from 7 percent to 10 percent.
Although APAs comprise only 5 percent of the U.S. population, they sponsor more than a third of all family-based immigrants. Nearly half of the family members still waiting in the visa backlogs are relatives of APAs.
For more information about OCA, visit www.ocanational.org