Meeting with Biden, Harris “was a significant step towards recognizing Indian American and AAPI voices”
Indian American community organization IMPACT has urged President Joe Biden to reform US immigration laws by abolishing green card caps and quotas, and including 200,000 children of long-term visa holders to protect all Dreamers.
Neil Makhija, IMPACT Executive Director, raised the community’s concerns “about the urgent need to expand voting rights and fight for immigration reform” at a meeting with Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House last Thursday.
Makhija, who met Biden and Harris alongside 13 Asian American civil rights leaders, noted it was the the President and Vice President’s first in-person meeting with national South Asian and AAPI political leaders.
The meeting, he said in a media release, “was a significant step towards recognizing Indian American and AAPI voices as we work towards building a multi-racial democracy that works for us all.”
Makhija said he “discussed the importance of protecting the right to vote, a bedrock issue that affects every other policy impacting our community.”
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He urged the President to reform US immigration laws by abolishing green card caps and quotas, and including 200,000 children of long-term visa holders in efforts to protect all Dreamers.
The President, according to Makhija, “acknowledges that our communities are essential to the fabric of America, but our current laws undermine these values.”
“As always, IMPACT remains committed to advocating for policies that advance our communities’ interests forward,” he said.
Thanking Biden and Harris “for reaffirming their commitment to working alongside AAPI leaders to protect our communities,” Makhija said, IMPACT “looked forward to working with them to expand voting rights, reform our immigration policies, and combat anti-Asian hate.”
According to a White House readout of the meeting Biden and Harris pledged to work with the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA & NHPI) community on immigration reform.
They “restated their support for a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, farm workers, TPS (Temporary Protected Status) holders, and essential workers through budget reconciliation,” it said.
“The conversation focused on the importance of combating the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, economic opportunity, commitment to equity, protecting the sacred right to vote, and immigration reform.”
Biden and Harris reiterated their “promise to work together to ensure the needs of the diaspora of the AA & NHPI communities are heard, uplifted and met,” the White House said.