PIVOT's Statement and Call to Action to Defend DACA

September 5, 2017

The Trump administration's announcement today to end the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrival (DACA) program, which provides opportunities to nearly 800,000 undocumented young Americans, marks another dark period in our nation's history. Immigrants of all status have contributed significantly to this nation, both economically and socially. Rather than recognizing the remarkable strength and diversity that immigrants bring to our nation, this Administration chooses to unnecessarily target, blame, and displace these young immigrants, despite the government's invitation for them to apply for DACA and register themselves. This decision aligns with a greater anti-immigrant agenda to deport immigrants, particularly Asians and Latinos, and cut Asian and Latino immigration (such as in the proposed RAISE Act). We are all targets.

As we look back on history, we are reminded of our nation's ugly past to blame and criminalize immigrants unjustly for our nation's problems. From the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Japanese American internment, and even recent efforts around the Muslim ban, we continually seek scapegoats, yet disguise our discriminatory acts under the guise of the nation's safety and/or economic prudence. But when it comes to DACA, there is not even any rationalization for ending the program. The average age at which a DACA recipient came to the U.S. is 6.5 years old, meaning that they did not personally make the choice to come to America without documents, but they nonetheless love this country and contribute greatly to it.

The economic data indicate that ending the DACA program is bad for America.  Ending DACA would mean that we will lose $460.3 billion from the national GDP over the next decade. More than 400 business leaders, including the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, AT&T, Facebook, General Motor, Ikea, Kaiser Permanente, and Microsoft, have signed on to support DACA. Over 1,800 governors, attorneys general, mayors, state representatives, judges, police chiefs and other leaders have expressed support for DACA recipients. And the American people also support DACA. Nearly 8 in 10 American voters want DREAMERS to stay permanently. 

We at PIVOT, Vietnamese refugees and children of refugees, stand by our DACA brothers and sisters. They are our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends, our family. They are us. As Dreamers seeking a right to life and human dignity, we condemn actions that target our immigrant communities. We refuse to allow divisive narratives around immigration status to divide families and communities. We refuse to put blame on young immigrants who came to this nation unknowingly as children, nor will we blame their parents. Our shared immigration history unites us with our immigrant brothers and sisters. In view of the Trump administration’s irrational and cruel decision to end the DACA program, we call on all communities to work with their Congressional representatives to create and pass legislation to ensure that DREAMERS can stay permanently in the U.S. We must defend DACA, and all immigrants from unjust immigration policies. 

Take actions to Defend DACA:

1. Call the 9 Attorney Generals to pressure them to stop their lawsuit against DACA.
2. Donate to United We Dream, an organization that has been in the forefronts of Immigration Reform (https://unitedwedream.org/)
3. Go to vigils and direct actions organized near you. Find an event near you through http://defenddaca.com/
4. Be available to emotionally support DACAmented, undocumented and individuals under Temporary Protected Status.
5. LISTEN, to dacamented and undocumented individuals for what is needed from you.
6. Do your own research and use google. Educate yourself on what DACA is, what the DREAM act was, the new dream act, BRIDGE act (https://www.nilc.org/issues/daca/faq-bridge-act/) and more.
7. Hold your local elected officials accountable for either not supporting DACA or opposing it.
Ken Paxton (TX): 512-463-2100
Steve Marshall (AL): 334-242-7300
Leslie Rutledge (AR): 501-682-2007
Lawrence Wasden (ID): 208-334-2400
Derek Schmidt (KS): 785-286-2215
Jeff Landry (LA): 225-326-6079
Doug Peterson (NE): 402-471-2683
Alan Wilson (SC): 803-734-3970
Patrick Morrisey (WV): 304-558-2021
8) Text 50409 with "RESIST" to send a fax to your Congress member to Defend DACA.

Citations for the economics numbers are from the Center for American Progress: https://goo.gl/qqt9b4, https://goo.gl/ZNdZUt, http://www.withdreamers.com, https://goo.gl/i2pf65