The Times Ledger reports that Rep Grace Meng (D-NY) has signed on to a bill authored in part by Sen Charles Schumer (D- NY) just a week after Meng was publicly being critical of it.
Meng wrote in a letter last week that the Schumer bill would hurt the chance of Asian American families from reuniting and bringing their adult siblings to the United States.
The two sides met and an agreement has apparently been reached to satisfy Meng enough for her to endorse the bill.
“Sen. Schumer has a very tough job needing to listen and balance the concerns from people throughout the country,” Meng said. “We are excited about this legislation because this is probably in may ways a better bill than originally anticipated and a bipartisan bill at that.”
Schumer says his bill will clear up the family backlog for visas in a decade and the number of Asian Americans allowed in the country would increase six times from 600,000 to 3.6 million over the next ten years.
“By clearing the visa backlog it will reunite hundreds of thousands of Asian-American families. No one will get everything they want with this bill, but it is very good for the Asian community.” said Schumer.
The deal in the Republican dominated House is reportedly more conservative than the Senate bill and would require a 15 year path to citizenship instead of ten.
Guillermo says it may even require that undocumented immigrants sign an admission that they violated immigration law.
Immigration activists are sounding optimistic.
“It really feels like this is a commitment by Congress to get this done, and less of a White House priority . . .It’s not being driven in the same way that you’ve seen the White House drive other legislative efforts. . .it’s owned by Congress.” said Angela Kelley of Center for American Progress.
But Guillermo warns that family reunification could still remain a stumbling block for Asian Americans. You can read more about that in Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund,and more details about clearing up the visa backlog in the Times Ledger.