Washington, DC — November 2, 2017 — Today following a meeting at the White House with Republican anti-immigrant conservatives, it was reported that the administration will not include a fix for undocumented youth in the government spending bill. Senators are working on a package to include increased border security and changes to our immigration system that they expect to be ready in January or February.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an affiliation of five Asian American civil rights organizations, issued the following statement in response:
“We must not trade a solution for undocumented youth for a white nationalist agenda. Cutting of family sponsorship and increasing enforcement is a nonstarter.
Congress cannot start muddying the waters with white supremacist proposals. Congress must pass a clean DREAM Act before it recesses for the holidays. The administration’s move to end DACA put these immigrant youth at risk unnecessarily. As a result, undocumented youth are facing a crisis now.
Cutting family immigration is a direct attack on our communities and other communities of color. Two-thirds of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are immigrants, and 92 percent of Asian Americans are immigrants or the children of immigrants. The vast majority of Asian immigrants have come to the U.S. through the family-based immigration system.
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 finally ended the previous racist national origin quotas that heavily favored immigrants from Northern and Western Europe and began with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. The diversity lottery was included in this law as a way to ensure that people from all over the world would receive the opportunity to immigrate to the U.S.
The idea of rolling back this law is offensive and unconscionable. It signals a return to the racist origins of our country’s anti-immigrant past. The White House shouldn’t play politics with more than a million undocumented people’s lives.
Increased enforcement is unnecessary and harmful. Throwing more money toward it will only cause harm in our communities.
Congress needs to act and pass a clean DREAM Act. Why wait? The time to act is now.”