April 17, 2013

WASHINGTON—Kathy Ko Chin, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), issued the following statement in response to the comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced today in the Senate.

“We are pleased that the “gang of eight” worked across party lines to produce a bipartisan bill to start the much-needed process of overhauling our broken immigration system. The 2012 elections make it clear that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders—the fastest growing racial groups in the nation—are willing to flex their political power to move our country forward. Now is the time for swift action and compromise to bring our immigration system in line with our needs and values.

While this legislation takes a major step forward, it falls short in addressing the health needs of aspiring Americans, which is essential for full integration. No doubt compromises will be made to get this important piece of legislation passed, but we cannot afford to ignore the health and well-being of immigrant families and the entire nation.

Access to affordable, quality health insurance and care for Americans and aspiring Americans alike is an economic and moral necessity. We urge Congress to ensure that the future of our country is a healthy one for everyone by including access to affordable health care in immigration reform, and we look forward to working with lawmakers to make this happen.”