Empowering New York’s Asian American Community Since 1989

Asian American Federation Statement on President Trump’s DACA Decision

New York City: Earlier today, President Trump announced that he would be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program over the next six months and leaving any hope for the Dreamers in the hands of Congress.

Despite assurances in April that DACA recipients could “rest easy,” President Trump has gone back on his word and decided to dissolve a temporary relief program that has allowed nearly 800,000 young people to gain work authorization and access to driver’s licenses, jobs, school funding, and homeownership opportunities. Without DACA, these young people, including the several hundred thousand others who would have been eligible or would have aged into the program, are now not only at immediate risk of losing everything but also are now subject to imminent deportation.

We strongly oppose President Trump’s decision, which punishes immigrants who came forward in good faith to acknowledge their undocumented status in order to pursue pathways that would allow them to make greater economic contributions to the U.S. and build a better life for themselves. In the Asian American community, over 270,000 DACA-eligible immigrants – or 14 percent of the total DACA-eligible population – will be severely impacted by the termination of this program. A significant portion of our young people will lose access to the very avenues that undergird good citizenship and many will be torn from their families and from the only home they know. Moreover, their removal from our systems will lead to a decline of $460 billion in the U.S. gross domestic product over the next decade. This is a loss that will reverberate throughout our country.

We are not a country that punishes those who were merely children when they were brought to the U.S. and currently lack status through no fault of their own. We do not turn our backs on those who have worked tirelessly to prove themselves deserving of educational and economic opportunities.

We call on our friends and allies to contact their leaders in Congress to pass the bi-partisan Dream Act and other programs that provide a pathway to citizenship for our young people. We also thank Governor Cuomo, State Attorney General Schneiderman, and Mayor de Blasio for pledging their support to protect New York’s Dreamers, and we pledge to work with all leaders to protect our young people who have been left vulnerable without DACA.

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