President Obama promised to act on immigration reform after the midterm elections. NQAPIA is urging that any administrative relief will include the special needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender Asian Americans, South Asians, Southeast Asians, and Pacific Islanders.
Executive action by the President will help more than 267,000 LGBT undocumented immigrants – a disproportionate share are AAPI – who live under the fear of deportation. Undocumented immigrants contribute tremendously to our nation’s economy and the LGBT community. For example, Rev. Noel Bordador came to this country as a young man and overstayed his visa. In the 1980s, Congress enacted an amnesty program for undocumented immigrants. Noel legalized and then became an openly LGBT ordained minister. He now works with low income and other undocumented immigrants.
Imagine the millions of people who could benefit from administrative relief. In Uncovering Our Stories, community members shared their stories of immigrating to the U.S as children and being undocumented as adults, struggles with the broken immigration system and of family members in immigration detention waiting to be deported to a country that is no longer home because of minor crimes they committed as youth. Undocumented immigrants are us and our community.
As Asian Americans, we are the nation’s fastest growing minority group, largely due to immigration, and we need bold, broad and inclusive administrative relief to keep our families together. NQAPIA encourages the president to:
- Expand the deferred action program to legalize undocumented immigrants including those with non-violent criminal convictions
- Eliminate the family visa backlogs so that more LGBT AAPIs can be united with loving family members who support them
- Eliminate the 1 year bar to apply for political asylum for LGBT people fleeing persecution
- Greater prosecutorial discretion in all deportations and special consideration for the needs of transgender detainees
- Create legal protections to guard against racial profiling
- Expand visa programs for students and both low-wage and professional (H1B) workers
Call the White House comment line at 202-456-1111 to urge the President to keep his promise and use his executive authority to provide administrative immigration relief.
When you call give your name and address and say this: “I urge the President Obama keep his promise to act on immigration reform. I strongly urge the President to grant administrative relief that includes the special needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender Asian Americans, South Asians, Southeast Asians, and Pacific Islanders.”