Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

New Report Goes Behind the Numbers to Convey The Facts About Immigration

Advancing Justice-LA and Advancing Justice | AAJC Report Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Use All Immigration Pathways But System and Policies Not Working for Them

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Advancing Justice-LA (Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles) and Advancing Justice | AAJC (Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC) released a new report today, Inside the Numbers: How Immigration Shapes Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities, which details the diversity of the immigrant population within the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, including contributions to the U.S. economy.

The report provides background on the immigration pathways that people take to come to the U.S. and analyzes key issues, such as how AAPIs are affected by current ineffective immigration policies and are suffering because of new policy proposals. From the impact of the Muslim and refugee bans and the rescission of DACA and Temporary Protected Status to the visa backlogs and long processing times to become naturalized citizens, the Asian American community is undeniably feeling the impact.

“We have been advocating for policies that help our community, not hurt them. This report shows that long visa backlogs, constant attacks on the immigrant community, and enforcement efforts are having a negative effect in our community, but still our community is a resilient one,” said John C. Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. “Growing up as an undocumented immigrant, I know how the right policies can have a positive impact and allow for immigrants and refugees in our community to more effectively contribute and even go on to become naturalized citizens and make their mark in the world.”

The report reveals there are more than 1.1 million Asian American immigrant-owned businesses in the U.S. -- nearly three times as many as the 389,000 businesses owned by native-born Asian Americans. Over a third of all immigrant-owned businesses in the country are owned by Asian Americans.

"Over 12 million Asian immigrants and 220,000 Pacific Islander immigrants live in the U.S., yet they are often overlooked in domestic policies and immigration policy," said Jeffer Giang, Research Analyst at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles. "In order for our communities to thrive, we need to reduce barriers to accessing critical services and opportunities. This report will help policy- and decisionmakers need to better understand the contributions and needs of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in this country."

There are nearly 3.7 million aspiring immigrants waiting for family preference visas, and more than 40% of the people stuck in the family backlogs are from Asia. In the final section in the report, Advancing Justice | AAJC and Advancing Justice-LA share several policy recommendations:

  • Pass legislation to update the family immigration system and resolve the problem of family backlogs.
  • Ask Congress to defund and repeal all iterations of the Muslim Ban and prevent any future president from enacting any new, similar bans.
  • Recommend the administration honor the requests of asylum seekers, without being criminalized, turned away, detained indefinitely, or separated from their families and cuts made to the enforcement, detention, and deportation budgets of ICE and CBP within the Department of Homeland Security.   
Inside the Numbers: How Immigration Shapes Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities is a report that not only provides a better understanding of the changing demographics of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, it provides a way forward to help our communities living in the United States.
Alison Vu, (213) 241-0283, [email protected]
About Advancing Justice - LA: 
Advancing Justice - Los Angeles and Advancing Justice | AAJC (Washington, DC) are part of a national affiliation of five leading organizations named Asian Americans Advancing Justice who advocate for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. The remaining affiliation organizational members are Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), Advancing Justice - Atlanta, and Advancing Justice – Chicago.
Thursday, June 13, 2019


Advancing Justice-LA's helplines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: family, immigration, public benefits, employment, housing, and civil rights. 

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Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.