Family Immigration Channels Crucial for Reuniting Southeast Asian American Families

No Compromise on DREAM Act Negotiations

Yesterday, the White House and Congressional leaders discussed potential bargaining chips for a deal to protect 800,000 DREAMers from deportation. Family-based immigration, diversity visas, and refugee admissions are all potentially on the chopping block. Taken together, these proposals would ultimately cut immigration into the U.S. by over 50%.
SEARAC is particularly concerned with the proposal to eliminate family-based visa sponsorship for all relatives except for spouses or children under the age of 18. In 2012, nearly half of the 4.3 million applicants in line to reunite with their loved ones came from Asian countries. Vietnam had the 4th largest backlogs at more than 267,000. Almost half of the 30,000 immigrants from Vietnam who entered the country in 2012 did so as siblings or as adult children of U.S. citizens. These visa categories would be eliminated if Republican lawmakers have their way.
“The White House proposal to slash family-based immigration would cripple the ability for many Vietnamese American families to reunite with their loved ones,” said Quyen Dinh, executive director of SEARAC. “The proposal punishes hard-working families and communities. We will not allow lawmakers to hold the DREAM Act hostage in their racist attempt to grind our immigration system to a halt. We demand a CLEAN DREAM act NOW.”


1.  Call your member of Congress at 202-224-3121.

Script: My name is _________ and I’m a constituent of ____________. I want Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act now. Will you commit to voting against any spending bills unless there is a solution for DACA recipients? I’m also calling in support of our family-based immigration system and the diversity visa program. I oppose lowering the number of immigrants welcomed into the country and cuts to any of the family-based visas or the diversity visa program, and ask for you to defend these programs. Will your boss commit to defending our family-based visas and diversity visa immigration system?

2. We are collecting stories of individuals who have benefited from family-based visa sponsorship. If you or someone you know would like to share your story, please email As the fight to defend family immigration heats up, we want to highlight what is at stake for the Southeast Asian American community.