WASHINGTON – Today, Juliet K. Choi, executive vice president of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) and former chief of staff and senior advisor of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released the following statement applauding the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision that blocked the Trump Administration’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). The DACA program has allowed certain undocumented young people the ability to pursue higher education and obtain work permits without the fear of deportation.
“Today, DACA recipients and their families can breathe a sigh of relief. Immigrants contribute greatly to our country, including serving on the front lines in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, and none should live in fear of deportation. The Supreme Court’s decision means that 650,000 young immigrants will continue to build their lives in a country that they call home. Among them are over 16,000 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Despite being able to work and reside in the United States, DACA recipients cannot access many of the affordable health care options, provided by the Affordable Care Act. During a time when access to health care is especially critical, this restriction not only jeopardizes DACA recipients’ health, but also increases the risk to their families, communities and public health for all. The Court’s ruling does not provide a permanent fix. We urge that Congress work to find a permanent solution that provides a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants who came to this country as children.”
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The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) influences policy, mobilizes communities, and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.