Integrity Legal

22nd August 2009

As the Obama Administration continues to put together a cogent piece of Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation, immigrant communities in the United States of America are becoming more politically active in an effort to make their views regarding the Immigration situation known.

One immigrant group of particular interest is that of first and second generation Asian-Americans. The blog Immigration Impact recently discussed the political clout that these Asian groups are beginning to harness:

“According to the Asian American Justice Center, there are currently more than 15 million Asian Americans residing in the United States—the majority of whom are foreign born and thus have firsthand knowledge of our woefully outdated immigration system. Countless Asians are caught in the family immigration backlogs and remain separated from close family members, and there are more than 1 million undocumented Asians in the U.S. today. Because the broken immigration system affects them in such a personal way, many in the Asian American community are banding together this week to attend town hall meetings with members of Congress, hold press conferences and petition lawmakers to fix our currently broken immigration system that restricts due process rights, breaks up families, and ultimately hurts the economy.”

The United States Embassy in Thailand processes a large number of US visa cases each year. Among the many US family based petitions are those for the K1 visa and Immigrant visas based upon an I-130 application and these are probably the most popular American visa categories.  The people entering on these types of visas eventually take up Permanent Residence either through adjustment of status or upon entry as an intending immigrant. Once stateside, many of these Thai immigrants in the United States eventually go on the naturalize as United States Citizens. These immigrants and their children have something of a unique opinion regarding immigration reform and as such it is most likely a net positive if they enter the public discourse on this important issue.

As Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States, Asian American Immigrants probably account for a disproportionately large number of family based petitions in lower preference categories. A result of this situation is the fact that many of these families remain apart for long periods of time due to the quotas set on the various immigrant visa categories and the large caseload being processed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Hopefully, Comprehensive Immigration Reform will untie the Gordian Knot of US Immigration for these separated families while at the same time assuring that America is safe and secure.


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