January 29, 2013

WASHINGTON—Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) President Kathy Ko Chin issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s announcement calling for reforming America’s immigration policies:

“APIAHF applauds President Obama for taking a strong stance to overhaul our broken immigration system. For far too long, our immigration laws have been a black eye on the values we hold dear in America—equality and justice.

Immigrants are the backbone of America. It is unconscionable that our broken laws and policies continue to deny immigrants and their families the opportunity to live healthy, prosperous lives in America.

Fixing our immigration system will require changes to a number of policies that stand in the way of supporting healthy families and communities. Access to health care is a critical part of this equation and the foundation for a strong and prosperous America. APIAHF urges Congress and the administration to make health reform a reality for all by lifting arbitrary rules that exclude many immigrants from accessing the health care they need and that unfairly deny essential care to migrants of the Compact of Free Association nations. We must use this opportunity to dismantle these barriers, not add new ones.

President Obama’s renewed push for commonsense immigration policies and the Senate’s bipartisan framework are an important step in the right direction. Now the door is open for Congress to make the necessary changes to our immigration laws that unite families, provide a pathway to citizenship for aspiring citizens and promote full integration.

APIAHF is committed to working with Congress and the administration to enact commonsense immigration policies that truly provide opportunity for all.”