For Immediate Release
June 11, 2014
Contact: See below
2014 National Asian American and Pacific Islander Immigration Score Card Uncovers Disappointment in Many House Members
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, the preliminary score card ratings on the voting records and stances on immigration issues of all 435 House members were disclosed at the 2014 National Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Immigration Score Card press event on Capitol Hill. The score card is a project of Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC), and OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates.
Speakers at the press conference urged Congress to act fast on immigration reform before the final score cards are issued in July. Speakers included: Ben Monterroso (Mi Familia Vota Education Fund), Dae Joong (DJ) Yoon (NAKASEC), Priscilla Ouchida (JACL), and Ginny Gong (OCA- Asian Pacific American Advocates).
Letters enclosing each individual Congressmember’s score card rating were also sent to all 435 House members informing them that they can improve their scores before the release of the final 2014 National Immigration Score Card is issued in July by:
Passing immigration reform with a defined pathway to citizenship and inclusive of family reunification
Issuing public statements in support of family reunification, a pathway to citizenship, and due process protections for all immigrants.
The House members also received a similar letter from Latino leaders on May 28.
Find links to score card and graphics here: https://db.tt/zOcZ4rn0
The AAPI score card ratings are based on House votes and co-sponsorship on immigration related legislation undertaken during the 113th Congress including cosponsorship of the Reuniting Families Act and the recent vote on Representative Steve King’s Amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act that would order the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the release of immigrant detainees.
The AAPI score card is part of the collaborative effort with the “2014 National Immigration Score Card,” which was initiated by the Hispanic Federation, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), and Voto Latino.
The refusal of House leadership to bring immigration reform to the House for a vote is preventing many members from scoring higher, the score cards show. From now through the release of the final score card, additional national and local AAPI organizations will be signing on to cosponsor the report card to further disseminate information disclosing how their representatives are voting on critical immigration-related legislation.
DJ Yoon, NAKASEC’s Executive Director said: “Action to stop the suffering of hardworking aspiring Americans is long overdue in the House. Our preliminary score card is based on nine criteria that clearly show where members of Congress stand in terms of fixing this broken system. It also emphasizes the crucial timing for House members to seize this opportunity to prove that they legitimately respect the American value of family and are willing to stop this moral crisis. We look forward to the day in which our AAPI and immigrant community will witness this act of bravery..”
Sharon M. Wong, OCA National President said: “Immigration reform is one of the most pressing issues for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. This score card is a tool for our communities to gauge our congressional officials’ support for our families and our concerns. If House leadership truly wants to show their dedication to needs of the AAPI communities, they will seize the opportunity that has been granted them and pass fair and humane immigration reform.”
Priscilla Ouchida, Executive Director of JACL, said, “”My grandfather died before he could realize his dream of becoming an United States citizen. Immigration laws barred his family from joining him in this country. Today, there are many just like him who have been waiting for decades for citizenship and family reunification.”
Ben Monterroso, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund’s Executive Director, said: “The day after the Latino leaders issued the preliminary scores, the House voted on another anti-immigrant amendment by Congressman Steve King of Iowa. But this time, there were some switches. Republicans, including Joe Heck of Nevada, Pete King of New York, Devin Nunes of California and Steve Pearce of New Mexico, voted against Steve King, even though they had voted with him and the GOP leadership in the past.
We hope that Congress has gotten the message that our communities do not forget those who turn their backs on us. Congress cannot ignore the immigrant community.”
The final scores for House members will be based on the following criteria:
- Co-Sponsorship of H.R. 15, Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (List of co-sponsors)
- Signature on Discharge Petition for H.R. 15, Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act(Current signatures on 113th Congress Discharge Petition Number 0009)
- A recorded “NO” vote on Rep. Steve King’s Amendment to H.R. 2217, Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill (Roll Call Number 208, 113th Congress, 1st Session)
- A recorded “NO” vote on the “ENFORCE Act of 2014” H.R. 4138 (Roll Call Number 124, 113th Congress, 2nd Session)
- A recorded “NO” vote on the Faithful Execution of the Law Act of 2014, H.R. 3973 (Roll Call Number 129, 113th Congress, 2nd Session)
- A recorded “YES” vote on the Nadler Amendment No. 2 to the “ENFORCE Act” (Roll Call Number 121, 113th Congress, 2nd Session)
- A recorded “YES” vote on the Deutch amendment to H.R. 2217 (Roll Call Number 198, 113th Congress, 1st Session)
- Co-Sponsorship of H.R. 717, Reuniting Families Act (List of co-sponsors)
- A recorded “NO” vote on Rep. Steve King’s Amendment to H.R. 4660: Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015 (Roll Call Number 266, 113th Congress)
Steps towards advancing immigration reform include: votes on legislation and amendments on the issue of immigration, co-sponsorship of key immigration-related bills that include a path to citizenship and support for family unity, and public statements that declare support for immigration reform with a path to citizenship and support for family unity and urge House leadership to bring a bill to the floor by the end of June.
For more information, please contact:
Emily Kessel, NAKASEC, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ken Lee, email@example.com
William Chiang, APALA, Wchiang@apalanet.org
Priscilla Ouchida, JACL, firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow us on Twitter: #CIRscores
The co-sponsors of the preliminary score card are as follows: Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC), and OCA- Asian Pacific American Advocates
APALA, founded in 1992, is the first and only national organization of Asian Pacific American union members to advance worker, immigrant, and civil rights. Since its founding, APALA has played a unique role in addressing the workplace issues of the 660,000 APA union members and continues to serve as the bridge between the broader labor movement and the APA community. Backed with strong support of the AFL-CIO, APALA has 17 chapters and a national office in Washington, DC.
The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) was founded in 1929, and is the largest and oldest Asian American organization in the nation. With a membership of 10,000, JACL is composed of chapters in 26 states and Japan. Organized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, JACL is governed by a 17-member National Board elected by a National Council. With an annual budget of $2.5 million, JACL employs a staff of 17 and operates five offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) was founded in 1994 by local community centers to project a progressive voice and promote the full participation of Korean Americans on major social justice issues. NAKASEC maintains offices in Annandale, Virginia and Los Angeles, California. NAKASEC has affiliates in Chicago (Korean American Resource & Cultural Center) and Los Angeles (Korean Resource Center).
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national membership-driven organization of community advocates dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans. Founded in 1973 as the Organization of Chinese Americans, OCA aims to embrace the hopes and aspirations of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States. Headquartered in Washington, DC, OCA is engaged in organizing its over 100 chapters and affiliates across the nation to develop both leadership and community involvement.