Sunday, June 18, 2017

Tramp administration rescinds DAPA program for parents of Dreamers

With the DAPA program ended, families may be separated again as parents are deported.

THE Department of Homeland Security rescinded an Obama administration memo that would have protected the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program, known as DAPA, and Expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (expanded DACA) program.

While DAPA was rescinded, for the time being, it appears the DACA program designed for those young immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as undocumented children will remain in place although the door is still open the administration might review that decision at a later date. Thus, the breaking up of families becomes more likely with parents being deported and children allowed to remain in the U.S.

“Maintaining the DACA program is a critical step to protecting the millions of undocumented youth who have been able to come out of the shadows since the program was first launched in 2012," said Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif and chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific Americans Caucus.

DAPA, had never actually taken effect after being signed in 2014. Courts had blocked it pending further litigation, which has been ongoing. While the program was argued in the courts, deportations in this group were minimal. With the program ended, the parents become vulnerable to deportation.

There are an estimated 1.5 million unauthorized AAPI immigrants in the country, 169,000 of whom are eligible for original or expanded DACA. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services data, however, AAPi enrollment has not been great.

"Like many undocumented communities, undocumented Asians and Pacific Islanders face language access challenges, access to resources such as healthcare, livable wage, and many more," says Anthony Ng, a policy advocate for immigrant rights at the Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles legal advocacy group.

"During times where we see policies targeting immigrant communities, undocumented Asians and Pacific Islanders don't necessarily think they may be as vulnerable as someone who crossed the border. Most undocumented Asians and Pacific Islanders come over with some form of visa that expires, they think they are less vulnerable when, in fact, any non-citizen is susceptible to these policies targeting immigrants."

"However, by rescinding DAPA and continuing to build a mass deportation force, the Trump Administration continues to generate fear and anxiety within our immigrant communities," she said.

"The decision is bittersweet, coming on the 5th anniversary of DACA," said the Asian Americans Advancing Justice 
Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice), an affiliation of five civil rights organizations

"Due to the strong advocacy by undocumented youth and their allies, the Administration has not kept its promise to end the DACA program, which provides work authorization for around 800,000 people. We celebrate the continuance of the program as a victory," said the AAAJ statement.

Trump has voiced his anti-immigrant views since the first days of his presidential campaign. In his address to Congress earlier this year, he created VOICE, a new agency to tally the crimes committed by immigrants and attempted to restrict travel from six predomiantly Muslim countries.

In the meantime, AAAJ encourages DACA recipients and DACA-eligible people to know their rights and consult with an attorney or BIA-accredited representative about applying for or renewing their DACA applications.

For a variety of know your rights materials, visit Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA’s website.

To schedule an appointment for immigration or citizenship related services, contact immrelief@advancingjustice-la.org or call Advancing Justice-LA's toll-free in-language hotline numbers:
  • Chinese: (800) 520-2356
  • Korean: (800) 867-3640
  • Tagalog: (885) 300-2552
  • Thai: (800) 914-9583
  • Vietnamese: (800) 267-7395
  • Khmer: (800) 867-3126
  • English: (888) 349-9695
"If this Administration truly cares about immigrant families, they must stop pursuing xenophobic and hateful policies that do not reflect our widely-shared values as a nation," said Chu. "Instead, we must take more substantive steps to ensure that we keep families together and work toward a permanent solution to fix our broken immigration system.”
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