Fair and comprehensive Immigration reform is a battle that the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) fought for decades. As the oldest and largest Asian American civil and human rights organization, it is time for us to stand up for more recent immigrants who are facing the same attitudes we faced in the 1920's and 1930's. For this week's National Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Week of Action, WE ASK JACL MEMBERS AND ALLIES TO TAKE ACTION.
The National AAPI week of action from January 12-20 is a collaborative effort among national, state and local AAPI organizations and allies to demonstrate the collective power and voice of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the comprehensive immigration reform debate. Coordinated outreach and events across the nation will engage community members in the broader Reform Immigration FOR America campaign and show Congress that the AAPI community is serious about demanding reform this year.
Here are ways to TAKE ACTION:
With special stakes in immigration reform, we as the AAPI community must voice our needs to Congress and the White House to assure the passage of legislation that benefits our community. For example, nearly 60% of the nations 15 million AAPIs are immigrants, 30% of all family-based immigration visas are used by AAPIs, and the longest waiting periods for uniting with family members from aboard are for AAPIs (up to 6 to 23 years). AAPIs also face the same problems as other communities with many undocumented immigrants having no fair way to become citizens even if they wait their turn and pay fines, and being put into detention centers with inhumane care and no due process. If our voices are not heard, then AAPIs will miss out on this opportunity for large scale reform.
Like all American families not excluding JACL families, immigrants came to this nation for a better life. They contribute to the country economically just as in 2009 when 1.1 million Asian-owned businesses provided jobs to 2.2 million Americans and had brought $326.4 billion into the nation. Reforming the immigration system means justice and equality to immigrants, jobs for the nation, and a more stable economy. GET INVOLVED IN THIS WEEK'S AAPI WEEK OF ACTION!