Chinese Support Bush's Immigration Policy Change
From the World Journal
January 20, 2004

President George W. Bush's announcement earlier this month that he wants to grant temporary employment visas to undocumented workers has drawn attention from Chinese immigrants. Leaders of Fujian immigrant associations and Meilin Xie, the New York State representative to the Republican National Convention, have initiated a letter-writing drive, calling on Chinese to write to the White House and members of Congress to push for the passage of the proposal.

The groups also expressed concerns that some private agencies serving immigrants could cash in on the surge of job applications and cautioned newly arrived immigrants to look out for fraud.

The proposal aims to legalize undocumented laborers to improve domestic safety, Xie said. Its passage will greatly help Chinese population, especially those exploited due to their visa status. She said she hoped Chinese will give the proposal non-partisan support, and that she will gather all the mailings and send them to the White House.

Fred Fu, president of Flushing Chinese Business Association, said he does not think the plan favors Chinese immigrants. It is aimed at Mexican workers, he said, but should be expanded to cover Chinese people.

Immigrant group leaders said legalization of undocumented workers would help reunite separated families, improve public security and increase tax revenue.

The leaders said there are more than 700,000 immigrants from Fujian in and around New York City, and 200,000 of them are undocumented. Separated from their families, these workers are under great financial and psychological strains. Passage of the president's proposal will grant the workers documentation and addresses, they said.

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Translated from Chinese by Shasha Dai

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