WASHINGTON, D.C. – Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) is excited to announce the New Deal for New Americans Act (H.R. 1643) has been reintroduced, a comprehensive piece of legislation designed to support the inclusion, economic growth, and civic engagement of immigrants and refugees. Yesterday, National Partnership for New Americans Executive Director Nicole Melaku hosted Senator Markey (MA), Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06), and Rep. Garcia (IL-04) for a virtual press conference to mark the reintroduction of the New Deal for New Americans Act today. To watch the replay of the press conference click HERE.
The bicameral New Deal for New Americans Act is endorsed by APIAVote, and sponsored by Sen. Markey (MA), First Vice-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06), Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Congressional Hispanic Caucus member, and Rep. Jesús G. “Chuy” García (IL-04).
“America is built on immigrants, and we should aim to make it easier for them to build a new life here. That is why we are so proud to support the New Deal for New Americans Act. This bill would reduce barriers to naturalization and ease the process of inclusion as new Americans – including automatic voter registration for new citizens,” said Christine Chen, Executive Director of APIAVote.
“Navigating our democratic process can be confusing, especially for the many Asian American and Pacific Islanders who come from countries where voting is not the norm or possible at all. By ensuring new Americans are equipped to fully participate in our democratic processes upon naturalization, we are empowering them to immediately have a seat at the decision-making table on the issues that matter most to them.”
The New Deal for New Americans Act reflects APIAVote’s commitment to engaging, educating, and empowering Asian American and Pacific Islander communities to strengthen their voices and create impact through civic engagement. We are proud to support this legislation and urge Congress to pass it swiftly.
Measures of New Deal for New Americans Act include:
- Establishing a National Office of New Americans within the White House to promote and support immigrant inclusion and coordinate efforts of federal, state, and local governments to support social, economic, and civic inclusion.
- Reducing barriers for individuals to naturalize by establishing a flat application fee for naturalization, amending the English and civics exam requirements for older individuals, and exempting eligible U.S. high school graduates from taking the naturalization exams.
- Protecting fee waivers and expanding reduced fee applications for immigration benefits.
- Establishing Grant Programs for community-based organizations and other entities that offer immigration legal services for those applying for immigration relief; English classes; and workforce development training.
- Limiting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) ability to raise fees without Congress’ approval, allowing for authorization of appropriations to cover USCIS’ need to operate and adjudicate cases.
- Promoting civic engagement through automatic voter registration of newly naturalized individuals.
- Increasing Refugee Admissions level to 125,000 per fiscal year.
About APIAVote: Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) is a leading national nonpartisan organization that works with partners to mobilize Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in electoral and civic participation. APIAVote envisions a world that is inclusive, fair, and collaborative, and where AAPI communities are self-determined, empowered, and engaged. See our website for more information at https://www.apiavote.org/