Honda introduces bill to end immigration law discrimination

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WASHINGTON — Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) on May 5 introduced the Reuniting Families Act in the House of Representatives, which according to his office, would help “ensure that visas are allocated efficiently, while alleviating lengthy wait times that keep legal immigrants, and their loved ones overseas, separated for years.”

The bill also eliminates discrimination in immigration law against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans and their foreign-born partners, Honda’s office

said in a statement.

“Our family-based immigration system has not been updated in 20 years, separating spouses, children and their parents, who have played by the rules for years,” said Honda “My proposed legislation is in line with American family values and with our need to grow our economy and save taxpayer money. American workers with families by their side are happier, healthier and more able to succeed than those distanced from loved ones for years on end.

“We are a nation of immigrants, and our country deserves an immigration system that honors that legacy and supports key family values, like keeping families intact,” continued Honda. “The Reuniting Families Act represents a giant step forward in that commitment and provides a blueprint that respects families, strengthens our economy and fixes a badly broken system. I urge Congress to take action now. For every day Congress delays, more families face separation.”

According to Honda’s office, there are currently 5.8 million people in the family immigration backlog waiting to reunite with family members already legally residing in the United States. The Reuniting Families Act reduces the backlog for families trying to reunite with their loved ones by classifying lawful permanent resident spouses and children as “immediate relatives” and exempting them from numerical caps on family immigration.

The bill also recognizes the sacrifices that certain World War II Filipino veterans made for this country by exempting their children from the numerical caps on visas.

 

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