June 15 marked the sixth anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Since its inception in 2012, DACA has granted nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children with temporary relief to stay and work in the United States without fear of deportation. The program was rescinded in September 2017 by President Donald Trump. Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus released the following statements, some of which appear below:
Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:
“The legacy of the DACA program is that it has allowed hundreds of thousands of young people – including many Asian American and Pacific Islander DREAMers from countries like Korea, China, India, Pakistan, and the Philippines – to come out of the shadows and fulfill the American dream. Because of DACA, they have been able to get their driver’s licenses, obtain college degrees, build careers for themselves, and contribute to the only country they have ever called home.
“Unfortunately, we are once again finding ourselves in a situation where Republicans have chosen to prioritize partisan politics over finding a permanent solution for our nation’s DREAMers. Instead, they are holding them hostage in order to further their anti-immigrant agenda, including drastic cuts to our legal, family-based immigration system that would disproportionately impact the AAPI community.
“Our immigrant communities deserve security that does not trade one family’s pain for that of another. And they deserve more than the obstruction they have seen from House Republicans who refuse to allow a vote on bipartisan DACA legislation. That’s why I will be opposing the anti-immigrant bills on the House floor next week and will continue to fight until we pass a permanent, legislative solution to protect DREAMers.”
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02):
“DACA provided a shining light for hundreds of thousands of young men and women to come out from the shadows and live freely in the nation that for many has been the only home they’ve ever known. But six years after DACA was in place, these individuals’ futures once again remain uncertain. We need a permanent solution for DREAMers in Hawai‘i and across the country now.”
Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06):
“Today marks the sixth anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA has allowed hundreds of thousands of young people to come out of the shadows to study, work, and live without the fear of being separated from their families. We are a nation of immigrants and we are stronger because of the diversity and talent that each person brings to our nation. Instead of recognizing their contributions, this administration has created an anti-immigrant environment that is deeply troubling. There was no reason to end DACA last year, but that is what this administration did…I promise to continue to fight for DACA and for commonsense and compassionate immigration reform in Congress.”
Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus