WASHINGTON — The National JACL issued the following statement on Friday.

Priscilla Ouchida
Priscilla Ouchida

The Japanese American Citizens League, the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization in the United States, applauds President Obama’s announcement last night of an executive order to provide relief from deportation to an estimated 5.2 million undocumented residents in the United States.

The proposal will reform long-overdue immigration enforcement policies and streamline the process for highly skilled immigrants and college graduates to remain in the United States.

Priscilla Ouchida, executive director of the JACL, stated, “The president’s proposal is an important first step towards helping families. Parents will no longer have to live in fear of being separated from their American children, and bright students will have an opportunity to contribute to the American economy. Now it is up to Congress to finish the job.”

The Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities (AANHPI) benefit from the president’s plan as they compose an estimated 12 percent (1.3 million) of the total undocumented immigrant population. Under the new executive order, parents of U.S.-born and legal resident children, as well as undocumented childhood arrivals, have a three-year grace period from deportation.

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