The debate over immigration reform has been focused on border security and immigrants from Latin America.
But the Asian population in the U.S. grew by more than 40% between 2000 and 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The number of those identifying themselves as Asians, either alone or in combination with another racial group, grew from 11.9 million to 17.3 million.
Of the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., 1.3 million are from Asia, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
As this year’s immigration reform efforts began, Asian-American advocacy groups laid out their priorities to the Gang of Eight negotiating a bill in the Senate, along with other key legislators like House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Their priorities in the immigration debate include establishing a humane pathway to citizenship, restricting the use of electronic employment verification systems such as E-Verify and reducing visa backlogs.