Leaders of the Hindu American Foundation called upon Congress for the swift passage of compassionate and comprehensive immigration reform, and called the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program by President Donald Trump unnecessarily punitive.

“The termination highlights the need for Congress to stop delaying immigration reforms that serve our country’s needs, and better reflect our country’s values as a nation of immigrants,” said Suhag Shukla, the Foundation’s executive director. “A sign of a broken system can’t get more obvious than when an order must serve as a last resort to deliver a dream or when it’s used to jeopardize the immigration status of hundreds of thousands of young people, including thousands of Indian, South Asian, and diaspora Hindus, who have grown up, studied, and worked here.” 

In particular, the Foundation called for a congressionally mandated pathway to citizenship for previously undocumented children. There are approximately 800,000 undocumented individuals who were provided legal protections under DACA after they were brought to the US by their parents when they were children. 

“Participants of DACA trusted the federal government to register and have since been extensively vetted. They’re contributing members of American society — many of them taxpayers, many students — all brought here as children,” Shukla stated. “No one should be penalized for the actions of their parents through no fault of their own.” 

Earlier this year, the Foundation outlined its key immigration policy priorities for the Hindu American community, focusing on family unification, streamlining the employment immigration system, permanent reauthorization of the Special Immigrant Non-Minister provision in the Religious Worker Visa Program, and revamping the refugee and asylum application process.

Matt McDermott

Hindu American Foundation

Washington, D.C.

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