June 23, 2020
Contact: Nikki Metzgar
(202) 599-7642 /

Washington, D.C. – On Monday, President Trump continued his assault on immigrant women and families by renewing his prior executive order that bans the provision of most new green cards through the end of 2020, realizing fears among the Asian American and Pacific Islander community that the policy to keep families apart could become indefinite.  

This extension is an attack on immigrant women, who are more likely than immigrant men to enter the country through family immigration channels. Among the more than one million immigrants who received green cards in 2018, 36 percent were from Asian countries and 53 percent were immigrant women. 

The spouses and children of American citizens are still eligible for green cards under the policy, but their parents are not, nor are the family members of current legal permanent residents who do not hold citizenship. The order is more than a “pause.” Due to annual caps in most of the family-based categories and the diversity visa program, many of these green cards will be lost and further aggravate visa backlogs. 

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow issued the following statement in response: 

“Trump continues to make immigrant families a favorite target, exploiting the pandemic to ban immigration altogether, indefinitely. Even before the pandemic, immigration officers could deny entry to the United States without cause and our immigration laws have long been broken. Many immigrants have waited in line for years for a green card and now that progress will be lost at a time when families should be together in a time of crisis. We deserve to have control over what happens to our loved ones. This order hurts families and it hurts immigrant women. Separating families is an attack on our human rights and our autonomy.”

Of the 3.5 million individuals waiting in the family visa backlog in 2019, 40 percent, or 1.4 million, were from Asian countries. Wait times have become so long that sponsored children become adults or get married, meaning they get moved into a different visa category and that can delay family reunification even more. 

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The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build collective power so that all AAPI women and girls can have full agency over our lives, our families, and our communities.