Washington: As US President Barack Obama moves ahead with his ambitious immigration reforms, a coalition of South Asian organisations today called for a just and humane system to be put in place.
The National Coalition of South Asian Organizations (NCSO), a coalition of 41 groups in US, said in a statement that it looks forward to offering input and recommendations as the policy process moves forward in the upcoming months.
The groups works closely with South Asian immigrants who are the fastest growing major ethnic group in the US, increasing by 78 per cent from 2000 to 2010 to approximately 3.4 million people.
NCSO urged the Obama Administration and the Senators to have an immigration system that creates accessible and affordable pathways to legalisation and citizenship for all undocumented individuals; keeps families together, eliminates the visa backlogs, and increases caps for family and employment visas.
"We urge the Administration and Congress to continue to work together and pass immigration policy reform that unites our families, provides us with options towards obtaining visas and citizenship, and ends unjust enforcement measures that have affected so many of our community members, especially in the past decade.
"Only then will we have a system that is just and humane for South Asian Americans, all immigrants, and society as a whole," said Deepa Iyer, executive director, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT).
Comprehensive immigration reform must terminate enforcement programs that engage in profiling so that families are not unjustly targeted, said Monami Maulik, Founder and Executive Director of Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM).
"We sincerely hope that immigration reform will address these backlogs that divide our families and provide a pathway to citizenship for our undocumented community members, so that we may all begin to move forward with our lives," said Manjusha Kulkarni, executive director, South Asian Network.