|OCA Marches in Support of Comprehensive Immigration ReformFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
22 March 2010
Lan Nguyen | Program Associate
202 223 5500 | firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCA, a national Asian Pacific American (APA) social justice organization with over 80 chapters and affiliates, joined tens of thousands of Americans in support of comprehensive immigration reform in the nation’s capital yesterday to remind President Obama and Congress of the need to fix America’s broken immigration system.
"As an organization of Americans with a strong connection to this nation’s immigration system, OCA urges President Obama and our Congressional leaders to never forget the families torn apart from visa backlogs and unjust immigration policies,” said Ken Lee, OCA National President, whose father was detained at Angel Island, California, prior to entering the United States in 1927.
OCA members and partners from Illinois, New York, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia traveled to Washington, DC to continue OCA's multi-decade campaign to improve the U.S. immigration system and ensure that the benefits of family-based immigration continue for all Americans. Some OCA members endured 14-hour bus rides to march with the estimated 200,000 people on the National Mall in support of immigration reform.
"Yesterday, we stood in solidarity with Americans of all immigration and ethnic backgrounds to ensure this nation of immigrants takes the necessary steps to provide a fair and just system for families to be united, communities to grow, and businesses to prosper,” said OCA Executive Director George Wu, who immigrated as a child to the United States under the family-based system in the 1980’s.
In attendance at the rally were Qing Hong Wu and his fiancée, who recently worked with the OCA-New York Chapter to successfully prevent Wu’s deportation. Qing Wu is a Chinese American immigrant who was sentenced to a correctional facility in his youth for committing muggings. While serving his sentence, Qing Wu turned his life around by earning his GED and gaining early release for good behavior. He went on to become a respected community member and the vice president of internet technology at a national company, but when Qing Wu applied for naturalization to become a United States citizen, his file was flagged by immigration officials. Due to immigration law changes in 1996, Qing Wu's childhood offenses made him deportable and he was abruptly detained.
Through massive collaborative efforts between OCA-New York Chapter and other committed community organizations that appealed for his release, Wu was pardoned by Governor Paterson for his offenses as a minor, which cleared him of any grounds for deportation. Wu’s success story is one of the few victories among many tragic stories of unjust deportations that will continue without comprehensive immigration reform.
Founded in 1973 and headquartered in Washington, DC, OCA’s mission is to advance the social, political and economic well-being of APAs. OCA is a part of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans’ immigration committee, which works closely with the Reform Immigration FOR America campaign. OCA encourages its chapters to endorse the national campaign to strengthen the APA voice in the comprehensive immigration reform movement.