September 5, 2017
WASHINGTON – Following President Trump’s announcement to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) released the below statement strongly condemning the decision.
“Ending DACA is an egregious affront not only to immigrants whose lives will now be shattered, but our entire nation, going against who we are and who we aspire to be,” said Kathy Ko Chin, APIAHF president and CEO. “Our nation would not be what it is today without the blood, sweat and tears of our immigrant communities. DACA has provided immigrant children and young adults with an opportunity at a better life and one without fear of deportation. With it, DACA youth and young adults have gone on to serve as leaders in their communities, excel at school and play critical roles in our national fabric. Ending DACA doesn’t just eliminate a program, it eliminates the futures of the children and youth who were counting on it.”
The DACA program provides temporary protection from deportation and the ability to obtain a work permit for over 800,000 children and young adults. DACA recipients live and work across the country. More than a quarter of all recipients reside in California. More immigrants have come to America from Asia and the Pacific Islands than from any other region in the world during the last decade. Asian countries, including Korea and the Philippines, rank amongst the top nations of origin for DACA eligible persons. According to today’s announcement, the DACA program will be phased out over 6 months.
APIAHF calls on Congress to immediately pass the bipartisan DREAM Act of 2017, which would grant legal status and a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.