Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Hawai‘i’s Filipino Families, Small Businesses Need Comprehensive Immigration Reform

March 14, 2013
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today delivered remarks on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to highlight Hawai‘i’s unique need for comprehensive immigration reform. She noted the particular challenges facing Filipino families and small businesses in Hawai‘i.

“In Hawai‘i, for example, Filipino families often wait up to 24 years to reunite with their loved ones,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “We are a community of immigrants – immigrants who came to Hawai‘i seeking greater opportunity, who toiled day in and day out working in our pineapple fields and on our sugar plantations. And yet, many are still waiting to be reunited with their loved ones. This is unacceptable and unnecessary.

“It also hurts our economy when small businesses face unnecessary draconian audits and automatic labeling as fraudulent businesses simply due to their size, stifling their ability to grow and create jobs.”

Full text of her statement is below:

Floor Statement of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

March 14, 2013

I rise today to highlight some of the unique immigration challenges we face. The good news is that Washington is finally focused on fixing this very complex issue. Comprehensive reform is crucial to our families, young people, and our economy.

In Hawai‘i, for example, Filipino families often wait up to 24 years to reunite with their loved ones. We are a community of immigrants – immigrants who came to Hawai‘i seeking greater opportunity, who toiled day in and day out working in our pineapple fields and on our sugar plantations. And yet, many are still waiting to be reunited with their loved ones. This is unacceptable and unnecessary.

It also hurts our economy when small businesses face unnecessary draconian audits and automatic labeling as fraudulent businesses simply due to their size, stifling their ability to grow and create jobs.

We must address these unique immigration issues in Hawai‘i, across the Pacific, and across the country as part of the national reform legislation in order to reunite families and grow our economy.

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