The president’s first term set a new bar for diversity in a presidential cabinet, but there have not been any new high-level Asian American or Pacific Islander (AAPI) appointments to replace outgoing AAPI secretaries in his second term. The ability to run an agency needs to be fostered – talent must be cultivated in lower positions.   With fewer AAPIs in key positions, the administration is missing an opportunity to fully reflect the diversity of our country in its leadership.

Good ideas can come from anywhere – and anyone. We must not shut the doors of American opportunity on someone who will contribute to our economy or way of life.  President Obama has long understood this. That’s why he is making immigration reform one of his top priorities this year.  But we also want to ensure that keeping families together is a top priority of immigration reform.   

Families are a safety net to support one another as they build a new life. Relatives pool resources, invest in new businesses and contribute more to our economy collectively than they ever would alone. And the ability to bring loved ones here, including siblings and adult children, is a major incentive for job creators around the world to innovate on our shores.  This is why protecting these types of visas and reducing the devastatingly long family backlog is so important.

President Obama embodies the American Dream as much as any president before him. He understands that those at the top have a responsibility to extend a helping hand to those behind. CAPAC is committed to working with the president to ensure everyone who works hard has the opportunity to reach our full potential.

Chu has represented California's 27th congressional district in the House of Representatives since 2009. She sits on the Judiaciary and Small Business committees, and is chairwoman of CAPAC.