Asian Americans Rally outside Trump Tower in Support of DACA and TPS
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New York City, NY – On October 5, 2017; the Asian American Federation partnered with leading immigrant advocacy groups in New York held a rally at Trump Tower to speak out in support of Asian American Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, who are being impacted by the dissolution of the DACA program under the Trump administration. Twenty-three organizations and several hundred New Yorkers, including Congresswoman Grace Meng, Council Member Margaret Chin, Assemblymember Yuh-line Niou, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and Comptroller Scott Stringer, joined hands with the Federation to defend the future of Asian-American DREAMers.
On the day that marked the deadline to apply for DACA status renewal, organizers mobilized protestors across the pan-Asian community and other immigrant communities to call on Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act as well as extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible immigrants from designated countries. Currently, over 136,000 Asian Americans in the U.S. – and over 13,000 Asian Americans in New York State alone – will be stripped of any protection from deportation (or lose the opportunity to apply for such protection) come March of next year, when the DACA program is scheduled to expire. This will leave a significant number of our young people at immediate risk of losing everything, including being subject to imminent deportation. Moreover, TPS expirations begin in January 2018, leaving approximately 9,000 Nepalis vulnerable to losing their TPS in June and having to return to an unstable home country.
The strong turnout at the Asian. American. Dreamer. Rally made it clear to the Trump administration and Congress that the Asian community and other immigrant communities will not stand silently by the sidelines while our family members, friends, colleagues, and neighbors are under threat of losing their civil liberties. DACA beneficiaries have made vital social and economic contributions to the only country they call home, and their removal from our systems will not only tear apart families but also lead to a national economic decline of $433.4 billion over the next decade. Similarly, TPS recipients undergird a significant portion of our workforce in domestic and personal care services, whose exodus would leave many of these industries unable to fill the demand for services
Jo-Ann Yoo, executive director of the Asian American Federation, said, “We have never been a country that punishes children for their parents’ decisions or turns our back on those who most need our help. The President has rescinded on his promise to protect our vulnerable young people by passing the buck to Congress. Now, Congress must make the moral decision of passing a clean DREAM Act to provide the future generation with an opportunity to live out the lives they were promised.”
Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Queens) said, “DACA has allowed approximately 800,000 DREAMers to come out of the shadows and contribute to our country. The President’s decision to end the program is inhumane and openly abandons American values. I will keep up the fight in Congress to pass legislation that would allow DREAMers to remain in the United States, and I continue to stand with all these hard-working young people who know America as their only home.”
“Much like today’s DACA recipients, I was once a young immigrant who came to this country in the hope of forging a better life,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “We cannot and must not deny this generation of Dreamers the same opportunity. I join our community in calling on Congress today to act to pass a clean Dream Act.”
“Our message to Trump and Congress is simple: DACA needs to stay, and New York’s Asian American community stands firmly behind Dreamers,” said Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou. “Immigrants contribute immensely to our communities, and it is critical that we prevent thousands of young Americans, including Asian American Dreamers, from being pushed into the shadows. I will continue to stand by our Dreamers, and I look forward to working with my colleagues and Asian American advocates to protect immigrant communities across New York State.”
“The President’s decision to end DACA without permanent legislative relief is as cruel as it gets. As the renewal date sunsets, I am proud to stand with an unprecedented coalition of pan-Asian leaders to urge Congress to do the right thing and pass a clean DREAM Act immediately,” said New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer.
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