National Council of Asian Pacific Americans Strongly Supports Bipartisan Bridge Act to Protect DACA Recipients

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dec. 9, 2016

 Contact: Mary Tablante;

 (202) 706-6768;

 

mary@ncapaonline.org

 

National Council of Asian Pacific Americans Strongly Supports Bipartisan Bridge Act to Protect DACA Recipients

Today, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced the Bridge Act, legislation to continue the protection and work authorization provided under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

This bipartisan legislation would give three years of provisional protected status to anyone who meets the eligibility criteria under DACA. If enacted, those who have DACA now could receive provisional protected status until their DACA expires and could apply for an extension. Those eligible who do not currently have DACA also could apply for this protection.

The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) applauds Senator Durbin for his longstanding leadership on behalf of these young men and women--known as DREAMers--and also thanks Sens. Graham, Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for their original cosponsorship.

“The DACA program has protected nearly 750,000 young people--empowering them to come out of the shadows and pursue their dreams of studying and working in the country they call home and serving our nation in the military--and it should be continued without interruption,” said NCAPA National Director Christopher Kang. “While we strongly oppose President-elect Trump’s threat to repeal this program, we are heartened by his recent comments that he will ‘work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud.’ The Bridge Act should be that ‘something.’ This legislation is no substitute for fixing our broken immigration system, and we must find a solution that protects all undocumented immigrants, but the most urgent need is to protect these young men and women whose immigration status, employment, and military service would be immediately in jeopardy. ”

"NAKASEC welcomes the introduction of the Bridge Act and applauds the bipartisan leadership of Sen. Dick Durbin and Sen. Lindsey Graham," said National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) Executive Director DJ Yoon. "Currently, the future of 750,000 young people, including 25,000 AAPIs, faces the threat of DACA being repealed by the new administration. Once the Bridge Act is enacted, these young people can live without a fear of deportation and contribute their talents to the country that is their home. We urge Congress and the President-elect to set politics aside, uplift American values, and embrace these young people's hopes and dreams by enacting the Bridge Act. Furthermore, all immigrant community members deserve the dignity and rights of citizenship, especially undocumented families and international adoptees, and separated American families must be reunited by fixing the family immigration backlog. We will continue to fight for all families and American values.”

“Though the Bridge Act is not a replacement for comprehensive immigration reform, we call upon all Senators and Members of Congress to help ease its passage,” said Leslie Moe-Kaiser, OCA National President. “When President Obama created the DACA program, the American government promised protection and relief to the vulnerable undocumented youth who came forward. We cannot go back on that promise now and put them in danger of deportation again."

The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and OCA are NCAPA members.

The following NCAPA members also had statements of support:

 

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Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 35 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.


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