FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 5, 2017
Contact: Mary Tablante;
NCAPA Outraged at Announcement to End DACA
The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) is outraged at Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement this morning to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in six months, a program that has benefitted hundreds of thousands of promising young people since it began five years ago.
This heartless decision is a continuation of this Administration’s attack on immigrant communities. Ending DACA further exacerbates the Trump Administration’s pattern of hostility toward vulnerable communities, including immigrants, people of color and the LGBTQ community, especially as he continues to push for a southern border wall and stand behind his statements praising white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
NCAPA reaffirms our commitment to fight for communities hurt by this decision. We also call on Congress to act quickly to pass the bipartisan DREAM Act of 2017 that would provide relief for young immigrants before the DACA program ends. The following are statements from Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders within NCAPA:
Quyen Dinh, Executive Director, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) and NCAPA Chair: "SEARAC is deeply disappointed with President Trump for caving under pressure instead of exercising the moral courage to do the right thing. If the administration wants Congress to pass legislation to protect these 800,000 people, then they should keep DACA intact until Congress is able to do so. There is very little difference between the young people of the DACA program and our refugee community - people looking for nothing more than freedom in this land of the free. We stand ready to fight and protect families that will suffer the repercussions of this heartless policy decision. We call on congressional leaders to defend the rights of all immigrants and refugees by enacting long-term, humane legislation that protects the vulnerable and keeps families together."
Vicki Shu, OCA National Vice President of Public Affairs: “We are outraged at President Trump's decision to end DACA. Terminating DACA will irreparably harm undocumented immigrant communities. Over 800,000 DACA recipients, approximately 16,000 of whom are AAPI, will now be forced to go back into hiding. By canceling DACA, President Trump has failed both morally and politically. In light of the President's failure, Congress must swiftly pass the DREAM Act or similar legislation. OCA, NCAPA, and our partners must hold our elected officials accountable for forcing our communities back into the shadows.”
Jung Woo Kim, Co-lead of National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) #DreamAction17: “Congress must move immediately to pass a clean, stand-alone DREAM Act that does not harm other immigrants. Such legislation should not use youth as bargaining chips to criminalize their parents and increase border and interior enforcement. We also call for a moratorium on deportations, with absolutely no data sharing [between local law enforcement and ICE] to facilitate immigration enforcement actions.”
John C. Yang, President and Executive Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC (Advancing Justice | AAJC): “DACA is a legal, successful, common sense policy that has transformed the lives of the nearly 800,000 young immigrants. We stand together with DACA recipients, including more than 16,000 Asian Americans, many of whom have pursued higher education, financially provided for themselves and their families, and contributed to the growth of the economy and the strength of America – all because the DACA program afforded them a chance. It is morally unconscionable for our government to strip these young men and women of the protections DACA has provided, after our government had asked these young people to come out of the shadows and trust the government to protect them. We are committed to fighting for the communities harmed by this decision and urge Congress to enact a permanent legislative solution.”
Kathy Ko Chin, President and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF): “DACA has allowed immigrant children and young adults to grow, learn, thrive, and contribute to their communities without fear of deportation. Doing away with this program takes away opportunities from students who want to learn, employees who want to work, and a generation of young immigrants with fresh ideas. Immigrants and their families are the foundation of our nation’s history and our policies must reflect that.”
Jeffrey Caballero, Executive Director, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO): "AAPCHO knows that the wellbeing of our patient communities suffers when they are subjected to deportation fears and other threats. This administrative decision hurts aspiring Americans, their families and all of our communities by cutting a program designed to create jobs and grow our economy. We stand committed to the needs of all members of our communities and will continue to push for comprehensive immigration reform."
Alvina Yeh, Executive Director, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA): “We are outraged and heartbroken by this disgusting move that targets and endangers hundreds of thousands of young immigrants for deportation. The administration’s brazen agenda laced with racism, hate, and xenophobia continues to threaten the very existence of ours- and allied- communities. APALA will not tolerate the mass criminalization of people of color nor will we be idle as our family, friends, and co-workers come under immediate threat.”
Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT): “We are outraged at the President's decision to terminate DACA, a program that has helped 800,000 immigrants obtain work permits, build lives, contribute to our communities, and strengthen our country. This is the latest in a litany of anti-immigrant measures by this administration that rejects our history as the quintessential nation of immigrants. America deserves a commonsense immigration process, one that includes a roadmap for new Americans who aspire to be citizens. We must demand policies that are consistent with our core values as a nation, and we must make our voices heard and demand Congress reform our immigration policies now. We are America and we are here to stay.”
Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF): “We are deeply concerned about the administration’s decision to dismantle the DACA program. We have seen the great successes of DACA, and we fear for the safety and well-being of the young people, including more than 16,000 Asian Americans, who would be left vulnerable to deportation in the absence of DACA. Deportation tears families apart and negatively impact the economic stability, employment, health, and reproductive choices of every person impacted by it. We will continue to resist this administration’s hateful and anti-immigrant policies, and we will stand strong with our partners and the 800,000 young immigrants who make this country great.”
David Inoue, Executive Director, Japanese American Citizens League (JACL): “The Japanese American Citizens League is gravely disappointed by the President’s repeal of DACA in spite of his previous suggestions he might continue to support its continuation. The removal of DACA protections is especially cruel and vicious to the youth who have grown up knowing only the United States as their country. We see a direct parallel for these Dreamers to the loss of rights for Japanese issei (first generation immigrants) during their World War II incarceration.”
Cyndie M. Chang, President, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA): “Ending protections for some of the most vulnerable in the immigrant community is a step back from progress. President Trump’s decision means that hundreds of thousands immigrants and their families now face an uncertain future. The Administration’s decision and their enforcement priorities underscore the need for Congress to enact meaningful immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship. We urge Congress to take a first step and protect these youth by passing the bipartisan DREAM Act, sponsored by Senators Graham and Durbin. We stand with our immigrant communities, and urge our elected officials to do the same.”
Brendan Flores, National Chairman, National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA): “The security and opportunity afforded to DACA recipients is a true representation of the American Dream. Eliminating DACA protections unjustly rips away the ladder of opportunity for hard-working people, divides families, and pushes immigrant communities back into the shadows. NaFFAA stands in solidarity with diverse community organizations fighting for the nearly 800,000 young individuals - including nearly 5,000 Filipinos - who have benefited from DACA so that they can reach their full potential.”
Glenn D. Magpantay, Executive Director, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA): “DACA was never a perfect program, but it was a step in the right direction. President Trump's mean-spirited cancellation of DACA will force 800,000 people to live in even greater fear. Hard-working DACA young people are the ones who are truly making America great.”
Rishi Bagga, President, South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA): “SABA North America strongly opposes President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA. These young people, brought to the United States as children, have shown a desire to conform with the law, and are likely to be punished for doing so. DREAMERS were brought to the U.S. by their parents in hopes of a better life. As children, they did not choose to break the law. Most of these young men and women have never returned to the countries of their birth, and many do not even speak the language of their native countries. Rescinding DACA effectually takes away these young people’s right to live in the only country they have ever known.”
The following are full statements from NCAPA member organizations:
- Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO)
NCAPA and 16 members joined The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights letter: 186 Civil and Human Rights Groups Urge Congress to Immediately Pass the Dream Act
Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 34 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.