A broad consensus of business, academic and policy leaders warn that the U.S. is on the verge of science and technology workforce shortages. AAPIs are twice as likely to hold jobs in these fields as any other immigrant group, with as many as 1 in 5 workers employed in the engineering and technology sector. Additionally, more than 63 percent of foreign-born science, technology, engineering and math graduates are Asian and Pacific Islander. These aspiring citizens and drivers of our global economic competitiveness should not be separated from their families. The community’s growth rate, buying power and political power are explosive and irrefutable. This is a presence that must not be ignored.
On both sides of the aisle, my colleagues agree that family values are quintessential to the moral, social and economic fabric of our society — and that families knit this nation together. As Congress deliberates comprehensive immigration reform, we must stay true to a shared vision of preserving and strengthening our families, and therefore, our economic prosperity.
We know, unquestionably, the value each family member brings to the table. Immigration issues are not new to AAPIs. The AAPI community’s history is the story of immigration in our nation. We have a story to tell — a dog in the fight. No family should be left out of the immigration system, and only by forging truly comprehensive immigration reform can we forge a more perfect union.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.