Seattle API's: Immigration is Our Issue Too!

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Mohammed Chaudry (OneAmerica)

Seattle API groups have been organizing for a greater voice and presence in the immigration debate. Last week, they launched a campaign called "It's our issue, too" to drive home the point that immigration affects Asian Americans as well as Latino’s. The coalition’s primary call is the passage of comprehensive immigration reform this year.

At last week’s press conference to announce the creation of the coalition, speakers highlighted the 1.2 million Asian American undocumented and the 1.5 million Asians experiencing long waits for family reunification with their relatives in the U.S. They also noted the history of anti-Asian incidents in the state, including the expulsion of 600 Chinese residents from the city of Tacoma in 1885. They presented petitions from 1,300 Asian Pacific Islanders in Washington state.

The harsh tenor of today's immigration policies were illustrated in the case of Muhammad Chaudhry, a Pakistani American veteran from Yakima, who is under threat of deportation. Chaudry described how training exercises left him in a wheelchair, but the U.S. government has denied him citizenship for poor moral character

The coalition has set up a website.