RALEIGH (June 5, 2023) – In an exciting development for immigrant families, Representative Judy Chu will reintroduce the Reuniting Families Act (RFA) this June. This crucial bill hasn’t been introduced since 2019 during the 116th Congress and will present a coherent vision of a reformed and strengthened family immigration system. The RFA seeks to strengthen and reform our family-based immigration system and end the family-based backlogs that often force immigrant families to make the heartbreaking choice to separate or remain in detention centers for extended periods. The RFA would address these issues by recapturing unused visas, reclassifying “immediate relatives” to include spouses and minor children of green card holders, and eliminating the three-year, 10-year, and permanent bars to re-entry, among other changes. Though now is a challenging time to pass policy, we must put our vision out there and hold our elected officials accountable to pass the policies our people need.
To celebrate the RFA’s reintroduction and bring awareness to this increasingly pressing issue, the NC Justice Center is participating in a week of action from June 5-9 in partnership with the Value our Families Coalition (VoF). This network of local and national community-based and advocacy organizations works to protect, preserve, and strengthen the family immigration system while promoting an immigration system informed by love, empathy, and justice. The week of action will include a Family 101 Webinar providing details on the RFA and the family immigration system on June 5, in-person legislative meetings in Washington D.C. to discuss the bill with congress members from June 6-8, and online action throughout the week.
Now is the time to take humane, evidence-based steps to address family immigration. Asylum seekers, refugees, and other migrants need opportunities for timely, lawful entry. We must not continue on our current path, utilizing draconian measures to deter and punish those seeking entry into the U.S.