~ Despite 4 million people waiting in family-based immigration backlogs, including 1.5 million people from Asia, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) records show only 165,642 of 226,000 available family-preference visas were issued in FY2022 ~
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) led 15 of their Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) colleagues in urging President Biden to reduce the visa backlog, which keeps millions of immigrants—including many immigrants from Asia—separated from their families.
“This backlog shows the inability of our immigration system to meet the needs of Americans as well as prospective immigrants,” wrote the lawmakers. “While we continue to work toward an immigration system that truly centers the needs of families, we ask your administration to act and help alleviate the pressures of a system that has long needed reform.”
Despite 4 million people waiting in family-based immigration backlogs, including 1.5 million people from Asia, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) records show only 165,642 of 226,000 available family-preference visas were issued in FY2022.
The letter urges the administration to implement policies to that end, including the administrative recapture of unused visas from the past two decades to add to family- and employment-based visa caps as well as the expansion of the use of family-reunification parole for individuals waiting in the backlog.
“These common-sense reforms will reunite families that have been separated for far too long and will also help alleviate the pressures of continuing labor shortages and increased push factors causing individuals to seek a better life here in the United States,” they conclude. “As Members of CAPAC, we are committed to working with you to help reform our broken immigration system. However, as Congress is unlikely to act as quickly as the moment demands, we ask that you act to help reunite families and contribute to the economic and societal well-being of our country.”
In addition to Senator Hirono and Representative Chu, the letter was also signed by Representatives Grace Meng (D-NY), Mark Takano (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Jill Tokuda (D-HI), Dan Goldman (D-NY), Al Green (D-TX), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Shri Thanedar (D-MI), David Trone (D-MD), and Juan Vargas (D-CA), as well as Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Cory Booker (D-NJ).
The full text of the letter is available here.