For years, immigrants from Asian countries who have arrived in the Los Angeles area have done so through family based immigration. About 55 percent of Asian immigrants have relied on a relative petitioning for them to come to the United States.

A new Senate bill may change all of that and has many in the Asian-American community concerned. The bill would take away certain aspects of family-based immigration, including the ability of U.S. citizens to petition for their siblings or married children 31-years-old or older to come to the United States. Because the large percentage of Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities that rely on family-based immigration, those who are against the bill say that they will be affected in a way that other groups will not.

One person that worries about the effects the bill will have not only on her own family immigrating to the U.S., but the Asian community as a whole, says that she believes the bill will have a devastating effect on a lot of people. The woman’s older sister lives in Pakistan and has wanted to come to the U.S. for years. Their mother petitioned for her to come three years ago, but because of the large waitlist for married adult children, she will likely have to wait for another 11 years before she is admitted.

Leaders in the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities are encouraging their members to not delay in submitting their petitions for their family members to come to the U.S.

If you need help or more information in submitting an application for a family member to join you in the U.S., you may benefit from speaking with an immigration attorney.

Source: Source: Daily News, “Asian-American leaders fear limits on family immigration,” Brenda Gazzar, July 30, 2013