WASHINGON, D.C. (June 12, 2015) — Earlier this month, OCA co-sponsored a rally on Capitol Hill hosted by Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) to call for the end of deportations of undocumented immigrants.
This event was attended by Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27) and co-sponsor organizations from the Asian American and Pacific Islander and Latino communities, including the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) and the Refugee and Immigration Ministries.
Since the President’s Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program took effect three years ago, there have been numerous legal challenges to disrupt this provision of relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. Most recently, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to stay an injunction on a suit against the Presidents executive actions, thereby stopping the expansion of DACA or the implementation of the President’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. The DAPA program would have also protected the parents of citizens and legal permanent residents from deportation. This rally was called to counter these challenges with the voice of the people and to reestablish America’s place as “a nation of immigrants”.
Below are excerpts from Kham Moua, OCA’s Policy and Communications Manager’s remarks at the rally:
“Today, many of us are here to remind Congress that our families did not risk it all, suffer and die, so we could be turned away at the gates of liberty. We stand with our Southeast Asian American community members – survivors of American foreign policy, democratic intervention, and one of the worst genocides of the 20th century; refugees who crossed rivers and oceans, and waited months, years, decades in camps until arriving in America. Who, in spite of that history, are being detained and deported at incredibly high rates back to the violence and poverty their families escaped.
So together with our AAPI, Latino, and Black immigrant brothers and sisters, united in a just cause, to speak clearly, to speak loudly and to speak firmly and say to our representatives, our senators, and our country that forcing our families to wait over two decade for a visa to be reunited: WILL NOT STAND; to tell them that indeterminate detention and the absence of due process protections for immigrant communities: WILL NOT STAND; and to tell them that to take away the DACA and DAPA lifeline to the American Dream from our undocumented brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers, the very people who do most of the heavy lifting in our country WILL NOT STAND.
Our country is experiencing a historical shift – Asian and Latino Americans are the fastest growing racial groups. Asian American voters are projected to double to 12.2 million by 2040. Soon, a new America will rise, comprised of a majority of minority Americans from Asian, Latino, and African American backgrounds. Our numbers are growing, and we are watching – SHOW THEM we are watching. Tweet your representative, your senator, your state and local officials now and demand pro-immigrant policies; an end to anti-immigrant rhetoric; and a return to the values this country was founded on.
We must work together to change the laws of this country in order to eradicate anti-immigrant laws that are separating families and the relentless attacks against DAPA and DACA. That is why OCA continues to mobilize our chapters, and why, together, we must continue to organize our local communities.
We must remain ever vigilant, loud, and proactive in our march to justice for Southeast Asian Americans, for the collective Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and for all immigrants here or awaiting reunification with their families in the United States. No justice for immigrants in America is an America without justice for anyone.”