House Passage of Build Back Better Act Makes Important Strides for Family Immigration System and Asian American Communities
Legislation would recapture more than half a million “lost” visas and reduce decades-long backlogs that separate families and Congress must deliver on a permanent pathway to citizenship
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act, which, among other provisions, would recapture more than 500,000 previously unused visas. Due to government delays and backlogs, many Asian American families and immigrants have been separated from their families for years, sometimes decades.
From here, the legislation will be considered and amended by the Senate and potentially passed via reconciliation.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an affiliation of five independent civil rights organizations, issues the following statement:
“We call on the Senate to include the visa recapture provisions in its version of the Build Back Better Act, which will reclaim unused green cards previously authorized by Congress and ensure the future use of all available visas. Visa recapture could release upwards of a half million unused green cards for family members stuck in the immigration system’s decades-long backlog, including hundreds of thousands of people from China, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam. More than just numbers—these family members are children, spouses, and siblings who are waiting to be reunited. These backlogs have separated many Americans from their families abroad. Recapturing visas is justice for immigrants who have suffered in line because of unnecessary delays.
At the same time, Congress’ job is not done without a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants living and working in this country. Victory will involve nothing less. We will not stop fighting alongside immigrant communities until we all win."