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Wednesday, June 15, 2022

CAPAC Members Commemorate the 10th Anniversary of DACA

 CAPAC Members Commemorate the 10th Anniversary of DACA

 

Washington, D.C. — Today, members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) commemorated the tenth anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This transformative policy, enacted in 2012 by President Barack Obama and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), provides young immigrants eligibility for work permits and renewable two-year deportation deferrals. CAPAC members released the following statements:

 

CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27):

 

“For a decade, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy has provided nearly one million young immigrants a chance at stability and the opportunity to build a life in the only country they have ever called home. Our greatest strength is our diversity and immigrant families across the nation contribute immensely to helping us build a better and brighter future. However, DACA was only meant to serve as a stopgap until Congress could meaningfully address immigration reform — and over the years, immigrant communities have suffered the consequences of inaction. In the AAPI community, there are an estimated 169,000 individuals eligible for DACA, but unique challenges – such as stigma related to legal status and lack of linguistically-appropriate services – have contributed to low application rates. So, today, as we recognize ten years of DACA and its tremendous impact, we must recommit to seeking permanent solutions to create a clear pathway to citizenship — not only for our Dreamers, but for all immigrants who are proud to call the United States home.”

 

Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06), CAPAC First Vice-Chair:

 

“Ten years ago today, President Obama established the DACA program, an historic initiative that protects thousands of Dreamers from deportation after they were brought to the U.S. with their families as children. After attending our schools, contributing to our communities and living almost their entire lives in our nation, it is clear that these Dreamers are a part of our country’s shared community. Under the previous administration, the DACA program was nearly terminated, which would have separated countless families from their loved ones. Additionally, during some of the toughest months of the COVID-19 pandemic, immigrants who were essential workers, risked their lives to help provide and protect the rest of our country. Many of my constituents benefit from the DACA program, and many more across our nation benefit from it as well. We must ensure these protections are permanent, to forever keep the dream alive!”

 

Rep. Mark Takano (CA-41), CAPAC Second Vice-Chair:

 

“Ten years ago, DACA began affording young immigrants a chance to remain in the only country they’ve ever called home by providing protection from deportation and an opportunity to build a stable life in the United States. Throughout my time in Congress, I’ve fought for Dreamers and helped introduce legislation to create and protect pathways to citizenship for immigrant communities. At a time when the fate of DACA is deeply uncertain, this 10-year anniversary should serve as a reminder to all of us to continue fighting and sending a message to Dreamers that home is here.”

 

Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33), CAPAC Whip:

 

“Today marks the tenth anniversary of the creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of undocumented individuals who call America home. At its creation, DACA acknowledged the importance of our nation’s young dreamers and allowed them to live without fear of suddenly being deported from the only country they’ve known. As the future of DACA remains uncertain, we must do all that we can to protect this lifechanging program. That's why it’s critically important that the Senate pass the House-passed American Dream and Promise Act to provide these individuals with a path to permanent resident status. Dreamers are part of what makes America an exceptional nation – and they should never have to live in the shadows.”

 

Sen. Mazie Hirono (HI):

 

“For the last decade, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has helped hundreds of thousands of Dreamers work, study, and continue building their lives in this country. These young immigrants — many of whom have never known a home other than the U.S. — are pursuing STEM careers, working in our hospitals, serving in the military, and have kept essential businesses running throughout the pandemic. But for too long, our Dreamers have been forced to live under a cloud of fear, knowing that they are always one court case or executive action away from losing their status. We need more people in power who understand the challenges our Dreamers face and the urgency this issue demands. It’s past time that we pass comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, so they can get the benefits they deserve and ensure their voices are heard.”  

 

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), CAPAC Immigration Task Force Co-Chair:

 

"Today marks ten years since we declared unequivocally and uncompromisingly that Dreamers belong here. For too long, they have lived in the shadows, afraid that one day they would be forcibly removed from the only country and culture they've ever known. It is not an overstatement to say that DACA has changed countless lives for the better. Having spent over a decade as an immigrant rights' activist and as the founder and president of the largest immigrants' rights organization in Washington state, I am so proud of the work the movement did that contributed to DACA's creation. But even as we celebrate the anniversary of this program, we must remember that there is so much more to be done. So many of our fellow immigrants have been forced to live in limbo, uncertain and fearful of what the future might bring. We cannot govern from a place of hatred, xenophobia, and racism. Instead, we must ground our immigration policies in compassion and in the acknowledgment that immigrants have been, are, and always will be an undeniable and crucial part of our society."

 

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), CAPAC Immigration Task Force Co-Chair:

 

“Our nation’s Dreamers exemplify the best our country has to offer as they continue to strengthen our economy, enrich our communities, and contribute to our collective pursuit of the American Dream. It’s long past time that our laws reflect what the vast majority of Americans support — allowing DACA recipients to continue living, working, and building their lives in the only home many of them have ever known — the United States of America.”

 

Rep. Al Green (TX-09):

 

“10 years ago, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was established by the Obama administration to allow Dreamers — non-U.S. citizens who were brought to the United States as children and are the beneficiaries of DACA — to live in the U.S. without fear of removal until the age of 21, should they meet certain criteria. Since the inception of DACA, thousands of Dreamers have contributed to the prosperity of our nation by way of their education, careers, language skills, and more. I am proud to stand with my CAPAC colleagues in recognizing the importance of the DACA initiative and remain committed to continue advocating for Dreamers to obtain lawful permanent residency status.”

 

Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13):

 

“In the 10 years since President Obama announced DACA, it has helped almost one million undocumented youth who were brought to this country as children and have now become active members of our communities, including in California’s 13th district. I am proud to represent so many Dreamers and am grateful for their contributions to this country — especially those who served on the frontlines during COVID. The Senate must pass the DREAM Act and meaningful, comprehensive immigration reform with urgency.”

 

Rep. Steven Horsford (NV-04):

 

“Thousands of DACA recipients call Nevada home. For many, it’s the only home they know. They are important contributors to our country and do not deserve to fear deportation. Thanks to DACA, Dreamers have had a guaranteed right to study, work, and live in the place they call home for the past 10 years. Congress must codify DACA. We need comprehensive immigration reform now

 

Rep. Linda Sánchez (CA-38):

 

“Ten years ago today, President Obama announced the DACA program, marking a victory for the thousands of undocumented youth that bravely spoke out and fought for this relief. Since then, DACA has helped thousands of students and young people build a life in the United States — the only country many of them call home. But DACA was always a temporary solution. On this anniversary, we recognize that DACA and similar relief programs work to benefit individuals, families, and our economy as a whole. It is time to build on the success of DACA and create a pathway to citizenship not only for DACA recipients, but for the millions of immigrants who live in and contribute to our communities every single day.”

 

Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09):

 

“Ten years ago today, under President Barack Obama, the Department of Homeland Security announced a transformative policy that would grant undocumented youth who were brought to the United States as children temporary permission to stay in the country. Since then, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, has protected millions of Dreamers from being deported from the only country they have ever known. Immigrants across the country have made countless contributions to our communities, culture, and our economy. On today’s DACA anniversary, we must renew our commitment to create a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and other undocumented immigrants who call this country home. By doing so, we can make the American Dream a reality for millions of hardworking folks." 

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