CAPAC Members Commemorate Seventh Anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program

Jun 17, 2019 Issues: Immigration

Washington, DC — June 15, 2019 marked the seventh anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Since its inception in 2012, DACA has granted nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children with temporary relief to stay and work in the United States without fear of deportation. The program was rescinded in September 2017 by the Trump Administration.  Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements:

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

“The DACA program has allowed hundreds of thousands of young people – including thousands of Asian American and Pacific Islander Dreamers– to come out of the shadows and fulfill the American dream.   Thanks to DACA, these young people have been able to get their driver’s licenses, obtain college degrees, build careers, and contribute to the only country they have ever called home.

“Unfortunately, many Dreamers are now living in limbo due to Donald Trump’s cruel decision to terminate DACA.  This hateful policy fails to reflect our values as a nation. That’s why I was proud to join my House colleagues earlier this month to pass   the  Dream and Promise Act. I urge my Senate colleagues to pass this bill and provide permanent protections for our nation’s Dreamers.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06), CAPAC First Vice Chair  

“Over the last seven years, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has provided a pathway for young un-documented immigrants to learn, work, and give back to their communities. More than 800,000 young people have benefitted from this program, and have been able to pursue their dreams and passions without fear of deportation. The Trump Administration’s callous disregard for this program and efforts to end it are shameful. Now, DACA recipients’ lives are in limbo as many fear what will happen if the program is eventually ended. That is why the House passed the American Dream and Promise Act, to end the uncertainty for DACA recipients and those who have received Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure status, by providing them a path toward permanent residency. Failure to pass this legislation will only create more hardship and uncertainty for these young people. The Senate must act and pass this bill.”

Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41), CAPAC Second Vice Chair:

“When President Obama established the DACA program 7 years ago, immigrants who were living in the shadows were given a chance to live productive lives without fear of deportation. Unfortunately, those protections were stripped away when President Trump unilaterally terminated the DACA program – now Dreamers are facing an uncertain future and thousands of young people are unable to apply for DACA protections. Dreamers include thousands of AAPI immigrants who contribute to the fabric of America, they deserve the opportunity to stay in the country they call home and contribute to our communities. Over the last month, we’ve made enormous strides in the House to protect Dreamers through the Dream and Promise Act. I urge my Senate colleagues to pass this legislation and give Dreamers and DACA recipients the opportunity to continue building their lives, pursuing the American dream, and earning a pathway to citizenship.”

 Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33), CAPAC Whip:

“I’m proud to join my colleagues today to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. DACA recipients contribute to society in profound ways, and I am committed to advancing legislation that encourages effective yet empathetic immigration reform. I have spoken with DACA recipients in Los Angeles who want nothing more than to continue living and working in the country they call home. Today is not only about celebrating the accomplishments of DREAMers, but recognizing that our country’s strength lies in our ability to embrace our diversity.”

Congressman Ed Case (HI-01):

“Last month I had the honor and privilege of personally welcoming 46 new citizens at a United States Citizenship and Immigration Service ceremony in Honolulu.   A week later, I voted for HR 6, to provide a path to lawful permanent resident status for ‘Dreamers’, the children of many who like our new citizens came to America seeking a better life. We must continue our commitment to fixing our nation’s broken immigration system so that those who grew up as Americans and only see themselves as Americans can become Americans”

Congressman Gill Cisneros (CA-39):

“Seven years ago, President Obama announced the DACA initiative, changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans for the better by allowing them to come out of the shadows. These immigrants are students, service members, coworkers, neighbors, and loved ones and they deserve the opportunity to live in the country they love and call home without fear of deportation. I am proud that my colleagues and I are standing up for our DACA recipients with the recent historic passage of the Dream and Promise Act of 2019, and I will continue to fight for them and all our immigrant communities in the 39th District.”

Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17):

“California’s 17th District is filled with talent and innovation precisely because of the immigrants who continue to relocate in Silicon Valley. 7 years after President Obama announced the DREAM Act, and one week after the House passed H.R. 6,  Democrats will continue to pursue a permanent solution for DACA recipients. Diversity is our strength.”

Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV):

“Immigrants play a vital role in our community, whether it be as teachers, doctors, small business owners, police officers, first responders, or members of our military. Our nation’s story is born out of the contributions that immigrants have made as our neighbors, friends, and family members, and they deserve our support,” said Senator Rosen. “As we pause to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, let’s focus on the type of legislation we need to fix our outdated immigration system, like the Dream Act, so that we can help give our Dreamers - including many Asian American and Pacific Islanders - a pathway to citizenship.  Dreamers have made a life here, and this is their home.”

Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-05):

“The DACA program provided nearly 800,000 young people a pathway to live and work in the country they rightfully call home. Today, we celebrate its 7th anniversary and recall the values that should always guide our immigration system: fairness, decency, and opportunity. It’s easy to say that the United States is a nation of immigrants, but putting those words into action requires supporting legislation like the Dream and Promise Act, which uplifts immigrants serving in our military, teaching our students, and contributing to our communities. We must work proactively to protect the American Dream and the Dreamers who are living it.”

Congressman Harley Rouda (CA-48):

“Too many of my Asian American & Pacific Islander constituents live in constant fear of deportation. DACA gave law-abiding public servants, laborers, entrepreneurs, and students the opportunity to live and work in the United States with a sense of security. On this 7th anniversary of DACA’s implementation, I urge my colleagues in the Senate to take up the American DREAM and Promise Act, and put a permanent end to the insecurity and uncertainty facing thousands of my Asian American constituents.”

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40):

“Seven years ago, President Obama's announcement of DACA opened the door for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants to stay in America, the country they love and call home.  Their contributions have strengthened our economy and our communities beyond measure.  However, with DACA facing cancellation by the Trump Administration, it is imperative for us to enact permanent protections for DACA recipients as quickly as possible.  That is why I reintroduced the Dream and Promise Act to protect Dreamers and offer them a path to citizenship.  The House has passed our bill with a big and bipartisan majority -- and now I call on the Senate to pass it and send it to the president's desk."

Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52):

“Seven years ago, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program brought 800,000 immigrant children out of the shadows so they could contribute to the United States–the only home they’ve ever known. President Trump’s cruel decision to end DACA without a legislative substitute continues to threaten Dreamers’ future. We passed the American Dream and Promise Act and now, it’s time for the Senate to take action.”

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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.