News / USA

S. Asian Community Closely Watches US Immigration Reform Progress

US Immigration Reform Closely Watched by South Asian Communityi
X
June 26, 2013 2:18 PM
As U.S. lawmakers debate how to reform the country's immigration system, the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants are hoping for an agreement. Among them are undocumented people from South Asia, as VOA's Kokab Farshori reports. As U.S. lawmakers debate how to reform the country's immigration system, the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants are hoping for an agreement. Among them are undocumented people from South Asia, as VOA's Kokab Farshori reports
Kokab Farshori
As U.S. lawmakers debate how to reform the country's immigration system, the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants are hoping for an agreement. Among them are undocumented people from South Asia. 

Sadia was the child of a diplomat and came to the United States 14 years ago. But she still is not a legal resident.  She spoke to VOA but insisted her name be changed and her face blurred in our video footage.

“It’s really painful not to have paperwork because, first of all you cannot drive.  You cannot work.  And even if you find work, people who pay you know your situation and they try to take advantage of you,” she said.

Sadia, who works in the mortgage business, does not not fit the stereotype of immigrants who enter the country illegally and look for blue-collar work.

“We have people that come through an employment based system with science and technology and math degrees, skilled workers," said Manar Waheed, who represents a group that advocates for South Asian immigrants.

Experts agree that it's not possible to deport all undocumented immigrants. The immigration reform bill being considered in Congress proposes a process to bring everyone into the system.  On Monday, the Senate approved an amendment to the bill that would strengthen security along the U.S.-Mexico border, a move aimed at increasing chances for congressional passage.

Demetrios Papademetriou of Washington's Migration Policy Institute, supports registration of all the undocumented.

“You allow people to register and make the registration process reasonable enough so that vast, vast, vast majority of them can qualify in the initial stage,” he said.

Registration will also allow the authorities to determine which undocumented workers have no criminal records.  

“I would say that if somebody who has criminal history or felony or they’re doing wrong things," said Sadia. "I don’t think it would be fair to give them the authorization or green card to work here or live here. But the immigration process should be lenient towards those who have been good citizens.”  

Papademetriou says the U.S. needs a better immigration system. 

“You have to have a system that is flexible, that adjusts according to fluctuations and demands in the United States, that creates a clear, legal, safe and orderly pathway for people to come here, that has rules that everyone understands and those rules apply uniformly across the country,” he said.

All eyes are now on the U.S. lawmakers.  The Senate could pass a bill in coming days, though the House of Representatives is not expected to vote on a measure until later this year.

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs