Asian-American women are fast becoming “the face of American immigration,” according to a new report by the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), “Turning the Page on U.S. Immigration Policy: Immigration and Asian American Women and Families,” which argues that policy makers need to understand Asian-American women’s stories, to better help all those affected by immigration.
“Every Asian-American family in the United States is impacted by immigration policies in one way or another,” Miriam Yeung, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF), told NBC News. “Right now, millions of Asian-American women and their families are suffering under immigration policies that continue to deny dignity to our families.”
Key findings from the report show the significance of Asian-American women with regards to immigration:
- 75 percent of all immigrants to the United States are women and children,
- Of America’s 11 million undocumented immigrants, over 1.3 million are of Asian descent, and
- More than 1.6 million of the 4.4 million people waiting in visa backlogs are in Asia, many waiting more than twenty years to reunite with their families.
Using stories and statistics, NAWPAF makes 36 specific policy recommendations for immigration reform that will help Asian-American women become US citizens, keep their families together, access health care, and escape domestic violence and human trafficking. Recommendations range from the very broad - “Establish an accessible, affordable, and timely roadmap to citizenship for all immigrants,” to the technically specific - “Reclassify spouses and minor children of green card holders as ‘immediate relatives’ so they are not subject to per-country visa cap."
“Even though Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial group in the US, there is a dearth of information about us," said Yeung. “Policymakers have the choice to bring Asian-American families together, strengthen communities, build our economy and continue to be a beacon of hope for women from around the world."