WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 31, 2014) — Asian Pacific American policy advocacy organizations are urging Congress to Vote “No” on HR 5272 and HR 5230.
The leaders say that the bills undermine the work for fair and humane immigration reform that advances the interests and civil rights of Asian Pacific American (APA) immigrants.
The Organization of Chinese Americans opposes both H.R. 5272 and H.R. 5230. Instead of voting on a comprehensive immigration reform bill, House leadership is expected to bring a vote on H.R. 5272, a bill that would limit those eligible for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood (DACA) program and prevent current DACA holders from renewing.
“DACA has helped law-abiding and productive undocumented Asian Pacific Islander (API) immigrants who were brought to the United States as children gain an opportunity to fully embrace their potential and contribute to their communities,” said Kenneth Lee, OCA Acting Chief Executive Officer. “Reversing the progress that DACA has made would be akin to ripping the American Dream from them and forcing these individuals to, once again, hide in the shadows of our society.
“DACA is pivotal to our country and its residents; just because the House has yet to give us a comprehensive immigration reform bill does not mean that they must limit one of the only forms of relief for young, undocumented individuals,” he added. “Additionally, the House is also expected to also bring a vote on H.R. 5230, a supplementary appropriations bill that would negatively change the procedures set in place in 2008 for unaccompanied immigrant children seeking refugee due to violence, and persecution, and trafficking. As a community of immigrants and refugees, we understand that our country must continue to protect due process for everyone and ensure fair and human procedures that assess the circumstances and situations of all individuals seeking asylum. It is not acceptable for border patrol agents to determine the validity of an asylum seeker’s claim, many of whom are traumatized from their experiences and may not have the language skills to express themselves.”
Mee Moua, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice | AAJC), on Thursday released a statement in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
“Over the last two years, Advancing Justice | AAJC has been working with partner organizations to reach out to and educate our communities about the DACA program, which grants temporary lawful presence to individuals who came to the U.S. as children,” Moua said. “The program has already benefitted many of our young people, including DREAMers, who have been instrumental in leading immigration advocacy efforts.
“We continue our outreach and education efforts because there remain significant numbers of Asian American and Pacific Islander undocumented youth who have not yet been able to avail themselves of DACA. It is critical that this program continue. The DACA program, which removes the threat of deportation and provides legal work authorization–at least temporarily–has made a tremendous impact on the lives of many and cannot fall victim to political wrangling.
“Rather than rolling back measures that have widespread support, the House should focus on positive solutions to the humanitarian crisis of children and families arriving at our southern border.”
The APA community will continue to watch the actions and inaction of our congressional officials. Our communities, in partnership with the Latino, faith, and labor groups have released a score card showing where our elected officials stand on immigration reform. We urge our congressmembers to advocate for our communities and vote no on both H.R. 5272 and H.R. 5230.