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Asian Americans Advancing Justice Urges Congress to Commit to a Pathway to Citizenship and Visa Recapture After Parliamentarian Recommendations

December 17, 2021 News

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Asian Americans Advancing Justice Urges Congress to Commit to a Pathway to Citizenship and Visa Recapture After Parliamentarian Recommendations

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last night, the Senate Parliamentarian recommended against including temporary deportation protections and work and travel authorization for around 7 million undocumented immigrants in the FY 2022 Budget Reconciliation Package. Recently, she provided guidance against two previous proposals for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, Temporary Protected Status holders, essential workers, and farmworkers.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an affiliation of five independent civil rights organizations, issues the following statement:

“Asian Americans Advancing Justice is extremely disheartened by the Parliamentarian guidance further blocking relief for millions of undocumented community members. There is no excuse for further inaction. We call on Democrats to use their trifecta to reinclude and pass a permanent pathway to citizenship in the Build Back Better Act. There are no other options left. The over 1.7 million Asian undocumented immigrants who have been waiting for long overdue relief should not have to wait any longer.

We also call on the Senate to pass the visa recapture provisions to clear the family and employee-based visa backlogs and provide green cards to diversity visa program lottery winners who could not receive them due to the Trump Administration’s immigration bans. Visa recapture could free around 400,000 unused green cards for family members stuck in the immigration system’s infamous backlog, including hundreds of thousands of people from China, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Some of these parents, children, and siblings have lost their status due the backlogs and have become undocumented.

We look to the Senate to pass transformative immigration solutions through the $107 billion allocated through the Build Back Better Act. The Asian immigrant community, like other immigrant communities of color damaged by our unjust immigration system, should not be cast aside year after year.

The Biden Administration and Congress must uphold their promise to create a pathway for immigrants through the Budget Reconciliation Package. We will not stop fighting for and alongside immigrant communities until all undocumented immigrants have a pathway to citizenship.”

Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. The affiliation's members are: Advancing Justice - AAJC (Washington, DC), Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), Advancing Justice - Los Angeles, Advancing Justice - Atlanta, and Advancing Justice - Chicago.