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On December 15, 2009, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) strongly supported the introduction of comprehensive immigration reform legislation by Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP), H.R. 4321, includes CAPAC’s top immigration priorities, including: Ensuring a robust family reunification system, earned legalization for undocumented workers and DREAM Act students, the restoration of due process and judicial review in our immigration system, humane treatment of immigration detainees, and the integration of new American communities. CAPAC members joined a diverse coalition of Members of Congress as cosponsors to the legislation.
As chair of CAPAC, I am thankful for Rep. Gutierrez’s passionate advocacy for comprehensive immigration reform. I was proud to represent the 1.5 million undocumented Asian immigrants living in the shadows and the millions of Asian and Pacific Islander family members caught in endless backlogs waiting to reunite with loved ones. Immigrants built this country and their contributions should be recognized with a fair and humane immigration system. I and CAPAC will continue to work closely with President Obama, congressional leadership, and the Congressional Black, Hispanic, and Progressive Caucuses to enact comprehensive immigration reform. Asian and Pacific Islander voices must be heard in this debate, and I’m proud that CAPAC members stood alongside a diverse coalition that is excited and ready to advance immigration legislation.
I was particularly pleased that CAPAC endorsed this bill which incorporates my Reuniting Families Act to reduce and eliminate our backlogs and ensure family reunification remains a cornerstone of our immigration system. Further, this bill honors the contributions of World War II Filipino veterans by exempting their children from numerical limitations on immigrant visas.