WASHINGTON, D.C. — South Asian Americans Leading Together Executive Director Suman Raghunathan released the following statement in response to tonight’s announcement on administrative immigration relief:
“Our nation becomes stronger when aspiring Americans can emerge from the shadows and live without fear.
As an organization deeply committed to fair, inclusive, and just immigration reform for South Asians nationwide, SAALT welcomes today’s announcement by President Obama as an historic step toward a longstanding, comprehensive solution to our nation’s broken immigration system. Today’s proposed Executive Order could provide relief for over 4 million undocumented aspiring Americans, including tens of thousands – if not more – South Asians.
Coupled with proposals to expand available visas and address long wait times for many immigrants, this relief is welcome news to South Asians nationwide as we continue to work toward a legislative solution. In addition, we welcome the President’s commitment to pivot away from the flawed and ineffective Secure Communities program and to reorient federal enforcement priorities to rebuild trust and keep all communities safe.
We remain hopeful that today’s announcement will include the parents or immediate family members of those eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Unfortunately, many aspiring Americans will remain excluded from the Affordable Care Act health care exchanges.
We can and must ensure immigrant families can live in their communities with dignity and respect, and we must stop deportations that are tearing our communities apart. Congress must widen the circle of inclusion by passing comprehensive immigration reform that includes an affordable roadmap to citizenship, widens the visa pipeline while eliminating backlogs and wait times, and clearly prohibits discriminatory profiling.
Today’s encouraging announcement renews the conversation on addressing our nation’s woefully outdated immigration system. SAALT remains committed to this pressing need.”