South Asian group welcomes actions by Obama on immigration

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Washington, Nov 21: A leading South Asian organisation welcomed the executive action taken by US President Barack Obama to provide legal status to more than five million illegal immigrants, including those from India.

"Today's proposed Executive Order could provide relief for over four million undocumented aspiring Americans, including tens of thousands - if not more - South Asians," said South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) executive director Suman Raghunathan.

Immigration: SA group welcomes decision

Coupled with proposals to expand available visas and address long wait times for many immigrants, this relief is welcome news to South Asians nationwide as we continue to work toward a legislative solution, she said. "In addition, we welcome the President's commitment to pivot away from the flawed and ineffective Secure Communities programme and to reorient federal enforcement priorities to rebuild trust and keep all communities safe," the SAALT director said.

"We remain hopeful that today's announcement will include the parents or immediate family members of those eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Unfortunately, many aspiring Americans will remain excluded from the Affordable Care Act health care exchanges," she said.

"We can and must ensure immigrant families that they can live in their communities with dignity and respect, and we must stop deportations that are tearing our communities apart," she said.

Congress must widen the circle of inclusion by passing comprehensive immigration reform that includes an affordable roadmap to citizenship, widens the visa pipeline while eliminating backlogs and wait times, and clearly prohibits discriminatory profiling, Raghunathan added.

Obama used his executive power to announce a series of administrative measures to provide legal status to over five million illegal immigrants in the country, including those from India.

The executive actions, said to be one of the largest measure by a US President on immigration, are expected to help a significant number of Indians in the technology field, especially those having H-1B visas.

PTI

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