Official Statement on President Obama's Immigration Reform Proposal

The East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) applauds President Obama’s recent immigration reform proposal, which primarily aims to create a more efficient pathway to earned citizenship – especially for the student population.

Encouraging undocumented youth to gain citizenship, the proposal allows young DREAMers who serve two years in the Army or earn a college degree to go through an expedited citizenship process without punishment. Students with a STEM Master’s and PhD degrees who have found employment in the U.S. will also be granted green card status. President Obama also seeks to reward entrepreneurship by giving “startup visas” and the chance to remain permanently to create more jobs for the American economy.

Given that almost two-thirds of all AAPIs today are born outside of the United States, President Obama’s educationally focused pathways to citizenship rewards talented AAPI students who can help grow the U.S. economy, job market, and competence in STEM fields. President Obama also prioritizes the preservation of families through the recognition of same-sex marriage in the family-sponsored immigration system. However, those who knowingly entered the U.S. without documentation must pay a series of fines and undergo a series of background checks before they are legally allowed to work.Although President Obama’s plan does not specify the amount of penalty fees, paying them all before gaining legal provisional status to work can certainly prove difficult for many families, even outside the AAPI community. As a result, it is our continued responsibility to help the AAPI community overcome the hurdles the imperfect immigration system still poses.

See the fact sheet on President Obama’s immigration reform proposal.

ECAASU is committed to advancing the social equality of minorities by eliminating prejudice and discrimination, defending human and civil rights, and bringing awareness regarding issues affecting the AAPI community.