WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 27, 2017) — OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is extremely concerned about President Trump’s signed and planned actions on immigration, including his executive orders to defund sanctuary cities and ban Muslim refugees.
This week, President Trump signed executive orders on immigration to defund cities that do not comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and another to ban migration from many Muslim-majority countries. Additionally, leaked documents signify efforts to criminalize non-citizens using public benefits, negatively change the H1-B visa program, and eliminate DACA.
“We are outraged at the executive orders that President Trump has signed. From the exclusion of Chinese Americans in 1882 to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, Asian Americans have a long history of systematic rejection of our personhood based on our identity alone,” said Vicki Shu, OCA vice president of public affairs. “No matter how President Trump and his team may have sold the executive order, our communities fully understand that this is clearly meant to ban the immigration of Muslims. This ban is a denial of the equal application of civil and human rights, and reignites baseless fears of other races, religions, and cultures.”
Shu said that the executive order to defund sanctuary cities is not beneficial to national security. The scale of the proposed elimination of federal funding to these cities is not only counterproductive to public safety but to health, wellness and every other aspect of life.
“The forced intertwining of local law enforcement and immigration agents and the increased criminalization of immigration leaves our nation unsafe by creating distrust of police by immigrant communities,” Shu said. “These policies not only criminalize and prohibit the entry of entire communities, but also dangerously move our country closer to criminalizing faith and national origin.
“We are also extremely concerned about the President’s proposals on DACA, H1-B visas, and public benefits that have surfaced,” she said. “It is deeply disappointing that he is eliminating or reducing key immigration benefits that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have largely utilized to immigrate to the United States. In totality, all of these proposals would lead to the largest change in our immigration system in decades and usher in a system that criminalizes immigrants for previously non-deportable actions. We urge President Trump to look at the facts, understand the cultural and economic benefits of immigrants, empathize with our struggles, and reverse his executive order. OCA will work to prevent these proposals and to re-open closed channels to ensure that immigrants can continue to find safety and refuge in our country.”
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national organization of community advocates dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs).