HomeImmigrationNew protection for undocumented families applauded

New protection for undocumented families applauded

President Biden’s decision to make it easier for undocumented spouses and children of legal residents to stay in this country is being applauded by immigration advocates.

The White House announced two new measures today that temporarily lifts the threat of deportation.

“These necessary steps ensure that our community members can gain legal status, access essential health benefits, and lead more complete lives,” Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum said in a statement sent to AsAmNews. “Undocumented spouses and DACA-mented youth, have for too long lived in the shadows and borne the brunt of our broken immigration system.” 

The order would allow them to legally work and apply for citizenship without having to leave the country. To be eligible, they must have lived in the U.S. for 10 or more years and have been legally married for that long. They also must not be on parole or pose a public safety threat. DREAMERS who have a college degree from a U.S. university and have an offer of employment, will be able to more quickly receive a work visa.

Rep Judy Chu (D-CA), chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, called the decision a “big step forward” for protecting immigrants. She estimated 500,000 immigrants would benefit.

“No one should have to live under the fear of being separated from their loved ones, and I am so relieved hundreds of thousands of American families can soon live and work with more stability,” she said.

An estimated 1.7 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are undocumented, according to the Women’s Forum.

“After years of uncertainty and being forced to navigate the United States’ broken and outdated immigration system, hundreds of thousands of families are waking up today being able to exhale because of the Biden administration’s commitment to keep families together. That’s something we should all celebrate,” read a statement from the Center for American Progress.

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