June 16, 2017

WASHINGTON – Today, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) released the following statement on U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly’s decision to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), but rescind the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program (DAPA).

“We are glad the Department of Homeland Security recognizes the importance of the DACA program for millions of individuals and families across the country, including Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders,” said Kathy Ko Chin, APIAHF president and CEO. “Many immigrants live every day in fear of deportation and DACA will allow children and young adults to continue to grow, learn, thrive and become vital contributors in their communities.Similarly, if it had been enacted, the DAPA program would have helped to keep families intact. Now, half a million AAs and NHPIs face the possibility of being separated from their family members as well as unsurmountable barriers to improving their health and well-being. We will continue working to support and uplift those families.”

Both DACA and DAPA provide temporary protection from deportation and the ability to obtain a work permit for children and young adults and the parents of children who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, respectively. In April 2015, APIAHF joined an amicus brief with the National Immigration Law Center and more than 150 organizations supporting President Obama’s immigration actions to allow millions of immigrants to apply for relief from deportation and work authorization through DAPA and the expanded DACA program, known as DACA+. The brief includes profiles of small business owners, primary breadwinners and social activists who could increase their economic and societal contributions if granted the proposed relief.