As President Obama deals with a lot of pressing issues, including the economy and the stimulus, immigration remains a topic on many people's minds. Led by Congressman Mike Honda, Asian American members of Congress urged the President to reform immigration by year end, saying the current system was tearing apart families in our community.
Honda, chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, wrote Obama a letter saying that immigration reform “must remain an early priority in your administration.”
“Immigration raids tear families apart, dreams of undocumented students are suspended indefinitely and growing immigration backlogs keep close family members separated for years, sometimes decades,” Honda wrote.
According to Honda, some two million Asians hoping to be reunited with families were languishing in the immigration service’s backlog, account for half of such cases. He added that Asian Americans—who account for some five percent of the US population—were also concerned about the Department of Homeland Security’s past treatment of detainees and lack of due process.
During his campaign, Obama called for a more efficient immigration system, saying families were suffering from lengthy background checks for applicants, and said illegal residents should have a conditional path to citizenship. He also criticized raids on immigration communities as ineffective, while pledging to security on US borders.
Let's hope that Obama lives up his campaign promises. But as we know from past experience, we can't just hope. We have to also hold his feet to the fire. It's nice to see our elected officials not forgetting this important issue.