Two Indian-American lawmakers lead Immigration Task Force of Asian Pacific Caucus

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Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington. Photo: profile pic from Twitter PramilaJayapal

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington, one of the strongest voices for immigration reform, and chair of the Immigration Task Force (ITF) at the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), has been joined by another Indian-American lawmaker, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, who has been appointed co-chair of the ITF.

 In a statement released Feb. 2, 2021, Rep. Krishnamoorthi announced his appointment and issued the following statement:

“I am honored to be appointed as a co-chair of the CAPAC Immigration Task Force alongside co-chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal as we continue to fight to ensure our immigration system reflects American values.

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois. Profile pic on Twitter

My parents brought our family to the United States from India when I was only a few months old because they believed in the American Dream, just as immigrants do today.

I’m proud to be taking on this new role within CAPAC on immigration issues and to build on my previous work fighting to end the Trump Administration’s Muslim ban, pass comprehensive immigration reform, and reform our high-skilled immigration system.

I look forward to continuing this work and to improving our immigration system for AAPI immigrants and all other immigrants who wish to call the U.S. home.”

Among the many objectives that the Immigration Task Force lays out is one that Indian immigrants are particularly affected by, viz. to “Support efforts to allow workers on H-1B visas greater ability to change employers, jobs, or positions without losing their immigration status and provide a longer grace period against laid-off H-1B workers to find replacement jobs or make arrangements prior to leaving.

Other priorities are supporting legislation to protect Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status recipients.

Other goals including:

  • ensuring the longstanding tradition of family-based immigration; reunite families by reducing the backlog in the family immigration system; provide adequate numbers of family-based visas per year; update family preference categories; adjust per country limits; and remove bars to reentry and adjustment of status.
  • Providing legal status and a path to permanent residence for undocumented immigrants who work hard, pay taxes, undergo criminal and national security checks, learn English and civics, and provide legal channels for immigrants, who wish to contribute to the American economy, to enter the U.S.
  • Ensuring that fees charged for citizenship applications are affordable for those who are low income and that fee waivers are generously applied.
  • Ensuring that naturalization tests are fair, and ensure adequate immigrant integration resources for community based organizations that provide direct services such as English, civics, and naturalization courses, to individuals.
  • Oppose any proposal that promotes border security and interior enforcement-only approaches.
  • Support the strengthening of U.S. refugee resettlement programs
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