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

Jun 15, 2018 Issues: Immigration

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today marks the sixth 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 The program was rescinded in September 2017 by Donald Trump. Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements:

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

“The legacy of the DACA program is that it has allowed hundreds of thousands of young people – including many Asian American and Pacific Islander DREAMers from countries like Korea, China, India, Pakistan, and the Philippines – to come out of the shadows and fulfill the American dream. Because of DACA, they have been able to get their driver’s licenses, obtain college degrees, build careers for themselves, and contribute to the only country they have ever called home.

“Unfortunately, we are once again finding ourselves in a situation where Republicans have chosen to prioritize partisan politics over finding a permanent solution for our nation’s DREAMers. Instead, they are holding them hostage in order to further their anti-immigrant agenda, including drastic cuts to our legal, family-based immigration system that would disproportionately impact the AAPI community.

“Our immigrant communities deserve security that does not trade one family’s pain for that of another. And they deserve more than the obstruction they have seen from House Republicans who refuse to allow a vote on bipartisan DACA legislation. That’s why I will be opposing the anti-immigrant bills on the House floor next week and will continue to fight until we pass a permanent, legislative solution to protect DREAMers.”

Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (GU), CAPAC Vice Chair:

“DACA has allowed 800,000 young people--including some of our neighbors and friends on Guam--to learn and work in our communities. For many, our country is the only country they have ever known. The people of Guam have a strong history of supporting immigrants and those who come to our country for a better life. DREAMers contribute positively in so many ways in our communities. It is unconscionable that Republicans in Congress continue to block legislation that would give DREAMers the certainty we promised that they will not be punished for coming into our country as children. I join my colleagues in calling for a permanent solution to DACA so that DREAMers can continue to give back to our country without fear of deportation.”

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02):

“DACA provided a shining light for hundreds of thousands of young men and women to come out from the shadows and live freely in the nation that for many has been the only home they’ve ever known. But six years after DACA was in place, these individuals’ futures once again remain uncertain. We need a permanent solution for DREAMers in Hawai‘i and across the country now.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13):

“In the 6 years since President Obama created the DACA program, hundreds of thousands of DREAMers have come out of the shadows. They’re our neighbors, friends, and colleagues – they’re a part of our communities. Thanks to DACA, they’ve been able to live with dignity. They’ve attended college, built careers, bought homes, and started families. They are American in every way except on paper, and they deserve every opportunity to build their lives here in the country they call home.

“But over the last year, the Trump Administration has stolen their security. As part of his larger, racially motivated immigration agenda, President Trump has vowed to end the DACA program. We cannot and will not allow him to tear these families apart. Despite Speaker Ryan’s obstruction, we’re going to keep fighting to pass a clean DREAM Act. And we must begin the hard work on bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform that ensures families can live with security and without fear of being separated from their loved ones.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06):

“Today marks the sixth anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA has allowed hundreds of thousands of young people to come out of the shadows to study, work, and live without the fear of being separated from their families. We are a nation of immigrants and we are stronger because of the diversity and talent that each person brings to our nation. Instead of recognizing their contributions, this administration has created an anti-immigrant environment that is deeply troubling. There was no reason to end DACA last year, but that is what this administration did.  Now, thousands of these young people are at risk of being deported and losing the only home they have ever known. This is wrong. Republicans control the White House and both houses of Congress; yet they have been unable to pass a comprehensive immigration bill to fix the DACA mess that this administration created. I had also hoped that Republicans would work with Democrats to save DACA, but that cooperation has not happened either. Regardless of these challenges, I promise to continue to fight for DACA and for commonsense and compassionate immigration reform in Congress.”

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40):

“Thanks to President Obama's announcement of DACA six years ago today, America has been immeasurably strengthened by the contributions of nearly 800,000 young people who call the United States their one and only home.  DACA has helped these young people live, learn, and work in America without fear of deportation.  President Obama’s wisdom and compassion in instituting this smart and humane program is in stark contrast to the Trump Administration’s cruel, ignorant, and heartless decision to cancel DACA.  It is urgent for Congress to pass my Dream Act to help qualified DREAMers stay in America and continue their positive impact on this nation they love.”

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09):

“Six years ago, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was created to provide much-needed deportation relief to immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. In September 2017, President Trump created an unnecessary crisis by terminating the program, causing tremendous harm to many young people and their families. DREAMers are integral members of our communities and for many, the United States is the only place they call home. The Trump Administration’s relentless attacks on immigrant communities goes against everything we stand for as a country. I remain committed to defending this program and protecting DACA recipients from deportation.”

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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.