What Immigration Reform Means to Me

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My name is Wanling Chen and I’m an intern this semester with Long Island Wins. This is how immigration reform would affect my family.

The proposed Senate immigration reform bill would be helpful for many undocumented immigrants currently in the United States by helping to keep their families together.

Millions of undocumented immigrants are living in the shadows, in fear of potential government investigation. They are afraid of being deported from the country they call home.

There are thousands of undocumented immigrants right now in deportation court proceedings that are waiting and hoping for immigration reform to pass so they can stay with their families.

I am also hoping for immigration reform to pass soon, as it would help my own family.

My uncle-in-law has been living in America, undocumented, since 2005. He came to this country alone, leaving his family in China, in order to work and create a better life for them. In 2011, he received a notice of deportation after a stressful court proceeding. He has been left in a difficult situation, having been separated from his family for more than seven years and without any direct family members here who could petition for him to stay.

I believe the Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) Status proposed in the immigration reform bill would allow him to stay with his extended family here, as well as bring his immediate family here to America.

However, I think that the immigration bill can be improved. People who register for provisional immigrant status cannot receive any benefits under the healthcare, welfare or nutritional assistance programs that citizens are eligible for. I think this is unfair because those who register for RPI status will pay fines and taxes, and are already struggling trying to hold a fair-paying, stable job to support their families.

The most important aspect of immigration reform is keeping families together. We need to do everything we can to make sure that the final bill that gets put into law achieves that goal.


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