To celebrate the third annual Immigrant Heritage Month and the immigration stories of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) Immigration Committee, OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates, and National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC), launched a social media campaign using the hashtag #ImmigrationStoryin5Words.
“Asian American immigration stories are extremely diverse, but often obscured in the general public and missing from the debate around the need for immigration reform,” NCAPA national director Christopher Kang told NBC News. “#ImmigrationStoryIn5Words challenges people to think about their history in an intriguing way — though tweet-sized, these five words reveal much deeper stories. Through this campaign, we hope to encourage and share personal stories, revealing the good and the bad, as we stand up in these times of divisive rhetoric, especially toward immigrants, and show our commonality with the immigrant experience.”
Some tweets pointed out the positive contributions immigrants have made to the country.
Other tweets pointed out the challenges faced and overcome by immigrants.
Some thanked their parents and grandparents for daring to immigrate.
Others also expressed the costs of being separated from family.
Not simply social media fun, advocates hope to also draw attention to the diversity of the AAPI community and family-based immigration issues. According to Kang, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest-growing group in the country, and approximately 1.8 million people from Asian countries are waiting in immigration visa backlogs.
To help address immigration backlogs, U.S. Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) introduced the Reuniting Families Act (H.R.4798) in March to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), establishing new levels of employment-based immigrant visas and family-sponsored immigrant visas, redefining the term "immediate relative," establishing a new “permanent partner” category, and exempting children of naturalized Filipino World War II veterans from worldwide or numerical immigrant limitations.
Some using #ImmigrationStoryin5Words called for change in the immigration process.
Advocates behind the hashtag are planning an #ImmigrationStoryin5Words Twitterstorm scheduled for Friday, June 10, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.