By 2g1c2 girls 1 cup
Founded in 1976, the New York Chapter of OCA is one of over 80 chapters and affiliates across the country dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States. OCA-NY is a community leader in advocating on important local and national issues, including voting rights, immigration reform, language rights, health care reform, hate crimes and hate media.
Letter from the President
Dear OCA-NY members and supporters:
It’s critical our community weigh in on the current immigration reform debate waging in Congress now. For centuries, restrictive immigration laws have dictated the growth and power of our community from the 1882 Chinese Exclusion law to post 9-11 immigration enforcement priorities. At a time when Asian Americans are the fastest growing minority group in the U.S., this debate is coming at a critical juncture.
The U.S. Senate just passed a bill to overhaul our broken immigration system that has been in effect for nearly 50 years. The bill proposes to move from the current family-based system to a merit-point system based on skills and eliminate petitioning for brothers and sisters and adult children of U.S. children. The bill also has employer requirements to verify workers’ immigration status through an e-verify system.
These restrictive changes are in exchange for creating a provisional status with a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented living and working in an underground economy benefiting the U.S. And the bill allows permanent residents to apply for their spouses and minor children immediately without being subjected to quotas.
Now all eyes are on the House, but the House has not yet decided to introduce a bill. If they don’t, it will result in yet another aborted attempt to pass immigration reform. If the House does pass a bill, what provisions will it contain? Ultimately, how can we ensure low-income, monolingual workers and immigrant women can equally compete with skilled professionals under a point system? Without the ability to petition for brothers and sisters and adult children of U.S. children, how can we ensure the survival of small immigrant businesses and Chinatowns and other ethnic enclaves in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens? And what will happen to the resources of social service organizations serving these communities if the low income immigrant population decreases?
Our voices must be heard in this debate to demand fair reforms. Family reunification has always been the cornerstone of immigration policy and its importance must be valued in any restructuring of our immigration system. Click here to find out what OCA-NY is doing to educate the community on the current reform efforts in Congress and how you can participate in this debate.
Elizabeth R. OuYang