Tuesday, June 26, 2007

OCA: Protect Immigrant Families

.....This is right from the OCA (Organization of Chinese Americans) newsletter talking about the amendments that are to be voted on Thursday regarding protecting immigrant families. Please read and make a difference! Every voice counts...

The immigration bill which had been stalled in the U.S. Senate is once again going through, unfortunately without three key amendments which would have placed provisions in the bill to protect family-based immigration.

There are two more chances in this session to protect families, the Dodd/Menendez/Reid and the Menendez/Obama/Feingold amendments (more info below). Opponents to reform have flooded Congressional offices with calls. We need your help in calling your Senators and urging them to support fair immigration policies!

The Senate will vote on Thursday, so please contact your Senator and support families TODAY!

The bill will also go through further debate in the House so the APA community must speak up there as well!

For more information:

Protect Immigrant Families: Urge Your Senators to Vote for the Dodd/Menendez/ Reid and Menendez/Obama/ Feingold Amendments!
As the Senate attempts to resume debate on America’s broken immigration system and reconsider the Senate immigration proposal, your voices need to be heard in support of family reunification. Please call (202) 224-3121 to ask for your Senators’ support on the following amendments:
Dodd/Menendez/ Reid Amendment #1199 - The current immigration bill being considered by the Senate contains provisions that will severely limit the ability of U.S. citizens to bring their parents to the United States by limiting the number of visas for parents to only 40,000 per year; creating a new visitor’s visa category for parents that unrealistically allows them to stay for only 30 days out of every year; and harshly penalizing the sponsor, parent and the entire country of origin if parents overstay.
Senators Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Harry Reid (D-NV) have introduced an amendment to the current Senate bill that would provide some relief for U.S. citizen families and their parents by:
v Keeping 90,000 visas (the annual average) available for parents of U.S. citizens;
v Extending the parent visitor’s visa to 180 days and making it valid and renewable for 3 years; and
v Applying penalties only to individuals who overstay instead of punishing all parents from that country.

Menendez/Obama/ Feingold Amendment #1317 - The proposed Senate immigration bill also limits the ability of adult children and siblings to reunite with their families in the United States by creating a point system that would not give any points for family relationships unless a 55-point threshold is met in the categories of employment, education, English ability, and civics; awarding only 2 points to over 800,000 green card applicants who will have their lawfully submitted applications thrown in the trash by this bill; and making it significantly harder for adult children and siblings to be reunited with their families in the U.S.
Amendment #1317 co-sponsored by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Barack Obama (D-IL), and Russ Feingold (I-WI) would modify the point system and make it more beneficial to immigrant families by:
v Removing the 55-point threshold;
v Giving 10 points to each family relationship; and
v Awarding 5 points for green card applications lawfully submitted after the arbitrary cut-off date.
Please contact your Senators and urge them to preserve the ability of United States citizens to reunite with their families.
Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to be directly connected to your Senators’ offices.
Demand that both your Senators support the Dodd Amendment today!
For questions or additional information please contact Pang Houa Moua at
pmoua@advancingequa lity.org or (202) 296-2300 x122.
Founded in 1973 as the Organization of Chinese Americans, OCA, a national organization with over 80 chapters and affiliates across the country, is dedicated to advancing the social, economic, and political well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States.

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