Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC President Issues Statement About Bipartisan Effort to Protect DACA Recipients
Michelle Boykins 202-296-2300, ext. 0144 firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, DC – December 10, 2016 – Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, applauds Senator Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) and Senator Lindsey Graham’s (R-IL) introduction of the Bridge Act and their support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative (DACA). President-Elect Trump has promised to terminate the DACA program, which allows certain undocumented people who came to the United States as children to obtain temporary protection from deportation and work authorization.
Mee Moua, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC made the following statement:
“As President-elect Trump toys with the lives of 740,000 youth with DACA, it is vital that Congress decisively resolve the uncertainty that these individuals live with every day. The Bridge Act is a limited measure to resolve an urgent situation for those with DACA, over 18,000 of whom are from Asian countries. Ending DACA would result in many people losing their jobs, drivers’ licenses, and health insurance. It will cause anxiety and place people at risk for deportation.
While we strongly support these efforts to save DACA, we have grave concerns about placing anyone in permanent second-class status. Asians Americans were the first immigrants to be excluded from the U.S. based on race and national origin. Beginning with the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, Asians were effectively barred from immigrating to the U.S. and ineligible for citizenship.
Our collective experience with the immigration system has taught us what it feels like to be denied access to opportunity and be treated as less than equal. We must not repeat the mistakes of our past. We will keep fighting to ensure that all immigrants living in the U.S. are treated with dignity and respect.