CAPAC Celebrates Fourth Anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

Jun 15, 2016 Issues: Immigration

Washington, D.C. – Today marks the fourth anniversary of President Obama’s announcement of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children to temporarily stay and work in the U.S. without fear of deportation. Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements:

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:

“Four years ago, President Obama created the DACA program to allow undocumented youth who were brought to this country as children to finally come out of the shadows.  Since then, DACA has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people in this country, enabling them to obtain a driver’s license, pursue higher education, and obtain a job while no longer living in fear of deportation. Despite this progress, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) still remain underrepresented in DACA enrollment. In fact, although AAPIs make up 8 percent of those eligible for DACA, only 2.6 percent have actually applied.

“As Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I am committed to ensuring that more Asians and Pacific Islanders enroll in this important program. And as we await the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Texas, I am hopeful that the Court will rule favorably in expanding this program even further so that more families can come out of the shadows and pursue the American Dream.”

Congressman Mike Honda (CA-17), CAPAC Immigration Task Force Chair:

 “Today, the 4th anniversary of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, I am reminded of the continuing need to fight the stigma of being undocumented and to increase outreach to ensure that all eligible DACA applicants know they can apply for the program. As we now await the Supreme Court decision on the fate of the DACA expansions and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, it is important to remember that the decision does not affect the original DACA program. I am confident that the Court will affirm the President’s authority to implement these programs, so that millions more families can gain relief from the fear of deportation. Our undocumented youth and families deserve the opportunity to pursue the American Dream and I am excited to see their future contributions to the fabric of this nation.”

Senator Mazie K. Hirono (HI):

“Over the past four years, DACA has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who were brought to our country as undocumented children through no fault of their own. The President's action has been truly transformative for many young people in Hawaii, who have been able to come out of the shadows to pursue their dreams of going to college and finding jobs. I am hopeful that the Supreme Court gives nearly five million more people this same opportunity by ruling in favor of protecting expanded DACA and DAPA later this month.”

Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41), CAPAC Whip:

"Over the past four years, President Obama’s executive action on immigration has allowed millions of immigrant families to live without fear of separation or deportation. In my district and in communities across the country, DACA has given undocumented children and families the opportunity to fully contribute to America’s greatness. Unfortunately, millions more are still forced to live in the shadows as we await the Supreme Court’s ruling on DAPA, a program that is clearly within the president’s constitutional authority. I look forward to a time when all immigrants can come into the light, which will only be possible if Congress accepts its responsibility to pass comprehensive immigration reform.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13):

“Four years ago, President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program to provide common sense, humane protections for undocumented students who were brought to the U.S. as young children. In the face of Republican inaction in Congress, DACA is an essential tool to keep families together. While DACA is a step in the right direction, we owe these families a permanent solution. Congress has a responsibility to pass bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform that ensures families can live with dignity and without fear of being separated from their loved ones.”

Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33):

“Today, I join my colleagues in celebrating the four-year anniversary of President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. Since its implementation, DACA has helped more than 728,000 DREAMers come out of the shadows, many of them from my home state of California. These individuals were brought to our shores as children, have known no other home than the United States, and wish nothing more than to be legal and productive members of our society.

America has always been and will always be a nation of immigrants, and the DREAMers are part of that story. Unfortunately, DACA has been placed on-hold while the Supreme Court considers a legal challenge from the State of Texas. While I am hopeful that the Court will rule in favor of the program and help our country move forward, the case underscores the need for comprehensive immigration reform to remove these uncertainties once and for all. I urge the House Republican leadership to finally take up a comprehensive package that would create pathways to legal status and finally bring our undocumented friends and neighbors into the fold.”

Congressman Raul Grijalva (AZ-03):

“In the four years since President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the American people have seen exactly why the President had to act. They’ve seen a Republican party in Congress unwilling to even consider common sense immigration reform, despite decrying our broken system every chance possible. This program has helped thousands of young people who’ve never known another country as home. Every day we are reminded of its successes, whether it be a student graduating valedictorian of his or her high school class, or the many recent Ph.D. graduates. I thank President Obama for his leadership despite their obstruction, and I stand ready to help this president and the next protect DACA and its expansion.”

Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52):

“Four years ago, in the absence of a vote in the House to fix our broken immigration system, President Obama took action to keep families together. DACA allows immigrants who came here as children to come out of the shadows and continue to build their lives here in the United States. While we prefer and will continue to fight for comprehensive immigration reform in Congress, this program ensures that families and our immigrant communities are not ripped apart.”

Congressman Charles B. Rangel (NY-13):

“Four years ago today, President Barack Obama took a necessary step to authorize the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a meaningful initiative that aims to bring hundreds of thousands of young Americans out of the shadows. I am proud to be a strong supporter of a program that makes it possible for students who grew up our country to obtain the resources they need to remain safe and contribute to the success of our nation. DACA has profoundly changed the lives of thousands of youths in my congressional district, who now have the opportunity to live without fear of deportation, work legally and advance their education."

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-46):

“Four years ago, President Obama took a desperately-needed and commonsense action to protect millions of young DREAMers by implementing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. While Congress refuses to fix our unjust broken immigration system and pass comprehensive immigration reform, DACA has been a lifeline for young people who have known no other country than America. But as we celebrate DACA’s achievements, we can’t forget that there are still millions of immigrant families who are stuck in limbo while the expanded DACA & DAPA programs are frozen in the courts. Any day now, the Supreme Court is due to rule on U.S. v. Texas and I hope the Justices will reject Texas state officials’ harmful politically motivated challenge and allow millions of immigrant families to come out of the shadows.”

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09):

“Four years ago today, President Obama announced the implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to immediately halt the deportation of undocumented youth in the United States. In recognition of this important program, the President expanded DACA in November of 2014 to include individuals who were brought into this country as children before January 1, of 2010, regardless of their current age. Our nation’s diversity is one of our greatest strengths, and people from all over the world have come to our country to seek opportunity in America and a chance to build a better life for themselves and their families. I support the President’s actions and will continue to advocate for necessary reforms to our broken immigration system.”

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The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.