Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Meet some Asian American DACA Dreamers

DONALD TRUMP is expected to announce the end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, today (Sept. 5) affecting the lives of 800,000 young men and women.

Although, the general impression is that the perfectly legal Executive Order signed in 2012 by President Barack Obama impacts Latino Americans, almost 17,000 undocumented Asian/Americans will be affected.

DACA allows people brought to the U.S. illegally as children the temporary right to live, study and work legally in America. It is not an amnesty program as believed by some of the program's critics.

Those applying are vetted for any criminal history or threat to national security and must be a student or have completed school or military service. If they pass vetting, action to deport them is deferred for two years, with a chance to renew, and they become eligible for basics like a driving license, college enrollment or a work permit.

Those who qualify for DACA, are called Dreamers. You probably know some. They are our neighbors, friends, classmates and co-workers. TThey are ordinary people, 
hey serve in our military, law enforcement, teach and care for other people. One of them died in Houston last week trying to rescue a victim of Hurricane Harvey.

Here are some of their stories. 

Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, is perhaps the best known. A Filipino/American, he founded the organizations Define American, which created these videos. For more stories of undocumented immigrants, click here.

Contrary to the beliefs of Trump and his supporters, a new survey finds that "DACA has beenunreservedly good for the U.S. ecoomy and U.S. sciety more generally."

A new survey of more than 3,000 DACA recipients from 46 states and DC, issued by Dr. Tom K. Wong of the University of California, San Diego; United We Dream (UWD); the National Immigration Law Center (NILC); and the Center for American Progress, concludes: 

“Our findings could not paint a clearer picture: DACA has been unreservedly good for the U.S. economy and for U.S. society more generally.” Among the key findings from the survey of DACA recipients and the larger report:

  • 97% of DACA recipients are currently employed or enrolled in school.
  • Average hourly wages rose by 69% after DACA— that means more tax revenue for cities, states, and the U.S.
  • 16% of DACA recipients bought houses; 5% started businesses
  • At least 72% of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies employ DACA beneficiaries
  • DACA beneficiaries will contribute $460.3 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product over the next decade—economic growth that would be lost were DACA to be eliminated.

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