02/06/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/06/2018 22:22
Washington, D.C.- Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), introduced H.R. 4944, the Reuniting Families Act, to fix the current backlog in the family immigration system. Currently, it can take decades for a U.S. citizen to be reunited with even one family member. The Reuniting Families Act, cosponsored by 45 Members of Congress, would make a number of changes to expediate and increase family reunification. Rep. Chu released the following statement:
'Our current family-based immigration laws were born from the civil rights era, when America had the moral strength and political will to sweep away the laws that enforced prejudice. Under the stewardship of Sen. Ted Kennedy, a new, bipartisan law was passed in 1965 in order to replace the xenophobic Immigration Act of 1924, which heavily favored Nordic Europeans while restricting or banning others. Since then, family immigration has meant more diversity for our country. Those that have reunited with their families are happier, more financially stable, less likely to rely on government assistance, open more businesses, and own homes in greater numbers than native-born citizens. It's clear, family immigration works for our country and should be strengthened, not weakened.
'But with his comments about preferring immigrants from Norway, President Trump is trying to undermine this system of legal immigration and make America white again. He derisively describes family immigration as 'chain migration.' Notably, at his State of the Union, Trump claimed that one immigrant could bring in an unlimited number of distant relatives. This is not true. The truth is there are no visas for grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins. And, for some families, it can take decades before they are reunited with even one family member. That's why there are nearly 4 million people waiting in our current family immigration visa backlog. And that's why my bill is needed. By making fixes that will accelerate family reunification, we will be helping the economy. Family immigration means welcoming immigrants who can rely on their parents to help raise their kids while they hold down a job, or can find financing for their business through their family when a bank says no. That's true merit to me.'
The bill's cosponsors include Reps. Pramila Jayapal (WA-7), James McGovern (MA-2), Grace Meng (NY-6), Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), J. Luis Correa (CA-46), Mark Takano (CA-41), Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Al Green (TX-9), Doris Matsui (CA-6), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-8), Keith Ellison (MN-5), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Adam Smith (WA-9), Jan Schakowsky (IL-9), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Frederica Wilson (FL-24), Raul Grijalva (AZ-3), Katherine Clark (MA-5), Nanette Diaz Barragan (CA-44), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Frank Pallone Jr, (NJ-6), Darren Soto (FL-09), Jerry Nadler (NY-10), Bobby Scott (VA-03), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Luis Gutierrez (IL-04), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Madeleine Bordallo (GU), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Elijah Cummings (MD-07), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Adam Schiff (CA-28), Yvette Clarke (NY-09), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), John Lewis (GA-05), Jose Serrano (NY-15), Ted Lieu (CA-33), and Marc Veasey (TX-33).
The legislation is endorsed by 42 number of groups including: Alliance San Diego, America's Voice Education Fund, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus, Asian Americans Advancing Justice -Atlanta, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Chicago, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA), Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Center for Community Change, Church World Service, Council on American Islamic Relations(CAIR), Equality California, Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), Hispanic Federation, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, League of United Latin American Citizens, National Action Network, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF), National Center for Transgender Equality, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), National Council of Jewish Women Inc., National Employment Law Project, National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates, San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), Southern Border Communities Coalition, Undocublack, United We Dream, UnidosUS, We Belong Together