Attendees at a unity summit organised by the Asian American Unity Coalition (AAUC) at the Capitol in Washington DC passionately advocated with lawmakers for five important bills including one for elimination of green card backlog.
These bills encompassed critical areas such as discrimination, civil rights, hate crime prevention, immigration, and the promotion of Asian American history education, according to an AAUC press release.
Eliminating Backlogs Act (HR 1535) will eliminate the backlog of permanent resident visas or green cards, which affects 1.6 million in the waiting list, of which 1.1. million are from the Indian community.
Once enacted, the bill will use the unused visa numbers in the past years for those in the waiting list. It is a bipartisan bill. So far only 10 members of House of Representatives have signed.
Congressional and Senate Offices were visited by AAUC officials as well as the attendees to promote the legislative agenda
The inaugural 2023 National AANHPI Unity Summit from Sep 25 to 27 served as a crucial platform for Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) organizations and leaders to come together and collaborate on pressing community issues, the release stated.
The event drew over a 100 diverse and multigenerational crowd of AANHPI community leaders.
Four other bills advocated for were: Teach Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander History Act (H.R. 3434 and S. 1702); Korematsu-Takai Civil Liberties Protection Act (S. 129); Afghan Adjustment Act (H.R. 4627 and S. 2327); Preemption of Real Property Discrimination Act (H.R. 3697).
Several distinguished individuals received recognition for their outstanding contributions during the summit:
US Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Dilip Singh Saund Political Leadership Award; US Rep. Grace Meng, Norman Mineta Public Service Award; Dr. Romesh Japra; Community Service Award; CC Yin, Philanthropist of the Year; Tammalivis Salanoa, President’s Young Person award and Jessica Wu, President’s Youth Award.
The summit was addressed by Indian American lawmakers Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (Illinois) and Rep. Shri Thanedar (Michigan) besides Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut), Rep. Grace Meng (New York) and Rep. Judy Chu (California).
Additionally, the summit marked the launch of the online AAPI community Hub powered by ESRI ArcGIS technology, creating the largest network of AAPI nonprofit organization, totaling approximately15,000 members.
During the congressional reception lawmakers emphasized the significance of elevating the community’s voice within the House and Senate, the release stated.
The reception enjoyed a strong turnout, with the presence of visiting House and Senate staff members. The event concluded with a mesmerizing classical sitar recital by a talented young musician.
A delegation of 20 community leaders attended a White House briefing on Sep 27 to engage in discussions addressing the issues raised during their congressional visit.
Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), a member of AAUC, joined hands for the event.
The AAUC is a nationally operating 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to unite diverse AANHPI communities around common goals to amplify our collective voice through advocacy, collaboration and education.
AAUC envisions a world where AANHPI achieve economic and social success and equal political representation, regardless of race, ethnicity or nationality, according to the release.