August 15, 2017

NEW YORK CITY DACA RECIPIENTS AND IMMIGRATION NONPROFITS RALLY TO SAVE DACA AND TPS

Ten Attorneys General from varying states have threatened to challenge Deferred Action program in court if the program is not terminated by September 5

August 15 marks the 5th Anniversary of the implementation of DACA

New York, NY – Hundreds of New York City Dreamers, undocumented young adults and members of New York’s immigrant communities, rallied outside Trump Tower today to defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in order to call on Congress to pass legislation to protect the more than 80,000 New York DACA recipients—and 800,000 nationally— and over 350,000 TPS recipients from deportation.

On June 29, 2017, ten Attorneys General, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, sent a letter to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions demanding that the government end DACA by September 5. If the government did not comply, Paxton threatened to add DACA to an existing 2014 legal challenge in federal courts. Given Sessions’s previous negative comments about DACA, it is unclear if the Trump Administration would defend DACA in a court challenge.

The Temporary Protected Status program (TPS) was formed in 1990 to aid countries ravaged by civil war, natural disasters, and conditions that make it too dangerous for their citizens to return home. The program provides not only safe haven for these immigrants from the devastating conditions of their countries but also the ability to live free from the threat of deportation and grants them work permits. Today, the program has protected over 300,000 immigrants from over 20 countries. However, after reviewing on June 22, the Trump administration and Gen. Kelly seeks to end TPS for Haitian immigrants on January 22, 2018. TPS is integral to the survival and well-being of 20,000 Haitian immigrants in New York—and 60,000 nationally—from the devastations caused by the 2010 Haitian earthquakes. The Trump administration’s hostile attitudes toward TPS threatens not only the Haitian immigrant community but other TPS recipient communities as well.

The DACA and TPS programs are widely popular among all political spectrums. According to a Morning Consult poll conducted in April 2017, nearly 80 percent of those polled favored allowing Dreamers to remain in the United States.[1] The termination of DACA would also have an enormous negative impact on the economy. A study by the Center for American Progress estimates that nearly 700,000 DACA recipients joined the workforce because the program and their loss would cost the country more than $8 billion annually.[2] Furthermore, according to Haiti’s ambassador to the US, Paul Altidor, ending TPS for Haitian immigrants would cripple Haiti’s already struggling infrastructure causing “an immediate increase in poverty in Haiti.”[3]

"While our president has not yet responded to the ten attorneys general who want DACA dismantled, the MinKwon Center is proud to stand with DREAMers and refugees in their embrace of the US as their new home.  Since 2012, MinKwon has processed more than 1,200 DACA applications and renewals, and we have seen firsthand the impact of this program. These young Americans are getting degrees, moving on to higher-paying jobs, buying homes and contributing even more in countless ways to our society.  The MinKwon Center calls on the Trump administration to defend DACA and lead Congress in passing legislation that values the contributions and potential of DREAMers and refugees, instead of finding ways to exclude them, deport them, or push them back into the shadows of our economy and society." – James Hong, Co-Director at the MinKwon Center for Community Action

“Five years ago today, the MinKwon Center began processing applications for DACA and we have seen hundreds of success stories from the Korean American and Asian American community we serve. Just on our staff alone we have four inspirational New Yorkers who after receiving DACA, decided to dedicate themselves to helping others in similar situations. Supporting our DREAMers with fairness and humanity is a no brainer, and the MinKwon Center urges the President and Congress to act immediately to protect DACA, TPS, and refugees.” – John Park, Co-Director at the MinKwon Center for Community Action

Today’s rally was organized by the MinKwon Center for Community Action, Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM), and the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement.

Sponsors include: Make the Road New York, the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), Yonkers Sanctuary Movement, Ugnayan Youth for Social Change, Jews For Racial and Economic Justice, El Centro Del Inmigrante, Planned Parenthood of New York City, Showing Up for Racial Justice New York, Million, Hoodies Movement For Justice, United We Dream, UnLocal, Inc, and Chhaya CDC.

Endorsers include: Urban Youth Collaborative, Teachers Unite, Global Action Project, Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus, Jahajee Sisters, RAISE: Revolutionizing Asian American Immigrant Stories on the East Coast, and Justice Committee.

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[1] Morning Consult Poll, "Poll: Trump’s Decision on Dreamers Is a Popular One — Even Among His Base” Accessed August 14, 2017. https://morningconsult.com/2017/06/16/poll-trumps-decision-dreamers-popular-one-even-among-base/

[2] Center for American Progress, “New Study of DACA Beneficiaries Shows Positive Economic and Educational Outcomes” Accessed August 14, 2017. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2016/10/18/146290/new-study-of-daca-beneficiaries-shows-positive-economic-and-educational-outcomes/

[3] ThinkProgress, “Trump administration limits protected status for Haitians to 6 months” Accessed August 14, 2017. https://thinkprogress.org/trump-administration-warns-it-may-not-extend-deportation-relief-for-haitian-immigrants-edab3b0bc20b/

For more information, contact: James Hong, 718-460-5600 Ext. 305 / james.hong@minkwon.org


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