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Public Statements

For the Relief of Shigeru Yamada

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. FILNER. Madam Speaker, I'd like to thank Senator Feinstein, the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, Chairman Conyers, and Chairwoman Lofgren for their leadership in the passage of S. 4010, a bill for the relief of Shigeru Yamada, an extraordinary young man who is in danger of being deported back to Japan, despite living here for most of his life. Shigeru came to the U.S. legally in 1992 at the age of 10 with his mother and two younger sisters. In 1995, when Yamada was 13 years old, his mother was tragically killed in a car accident. Yamada and his sisters were suddenly orphaned, and due to a change in immigration laws, were stripped of their legal status. Notwithstanding personal adversities, Yamada excelled in high school where he was active in sports, student government, and the community, while maintaining almost a 4.00 GPA. Yamada has attended Southwestern College and is a model member of the Chula Vista, California community. His two younger sisters were able to become citizens. One married a U.S. citizen and the other one was adopted by family members. The family tried to adopt Shigeru, but they were not successful. Yamada does not have any family or home in Japan. His mother's side of the family is Korean which makes it extremely difficult for him to integrate into Japanese society. He would be virtually unemployable in Japan because he does not speak, read, or write Japanese. His situation shows that he would suffer extreme hardship if forced to return to Japan. The passage of this bill brings justice one step closer to Yamada. We want and need more people like Shigeru in our country and he deserves the opportunity to become a permanent U.S. citizen. Once again, I'd like to thank the leadership for passage of this critical bill.

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