By Vincent Pan and Grace Lee
Tonight President Obama will address the nation to announce plans to improve our nation’s broken immigration system.
It is expected that the President will outline the administrative measures he can and will take without Congress. The goal is to provide some measure of relief to millions of immigrants so that families can remain together, obtain basic legal protections, and come out of the shadows where they are often exploited.
In response, some Republican leaders are already threatening impeachment and obstruction, even though former presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. Bush set clear precedents for executive branch action on immigration in the 1980s and 1990s.
At CAA, we have dedicated much of the past two years to the fight for comprehensive immigration reform. Our priorities have been to keep all immigrant families together, to provide a pathway to citizenship for all immigrants, and to protect the worker and civil rights of all immigrants.
When Republicans in the House of Representatives finally killed reform efforts in September, we joined others requesting the President to do what he could on his own, and delivered our recommendations for administrative action.
The plans to be announced tonight will benefit millions of immigrants while leaving millions more out. But the action marks major positive progress towards the permanent and expansive solutions we need.
For many in the Asian American community, we know that historic and current exclusionary policies are borne from fear and bigotry, and that we must all champion an America that is more inclusive, fair, and compassionate.
The stories of immigrants remain central to the story of America. There are high school students struggling to pursue their dreams in this country; grandparents yearning to see their grandchildren; siblings seeking out siblings; and working parents hoping to emerge from the shadows of society with dignity and respect.
Much is ahead for CAA and all of us, and we look forward to ongoing work together.