By JACL National Staff
Washington, D.C. – The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the largest and oldest Asian American civil rights organization in the nation, expresses disappointment with the House passage of five amendments to H.R. 240. The amendments effectively nullify President Obama’s 2014 executive action plans on immigration and the expansion of the deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) program.
Priscilla Ouchida, Executive Director of the JACL, said, “The House’s politically motivated actions disproportionately impact millions of immigrant families in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Parents of citizen and legal resident children would have contributed to the economy through paying taxes, which is a stipulation of DAPA. Talented undocumented AAPI youth who would be protected under DACA again face unfair barriers to leading productive lives without fear of deportation.”
The JACL supported Obama’s executive action in November 2014, when he announced a plan to provide relief from deportation to over five million undocumented residents in the United States, of whom an estimated 1.3 million are AAPI.
On January 12, 2015 five amendments were added to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriation Act of 2015 (H.R. 240). The bill passed on January 14th by a vote of 236-191 in the House. The amendments defund the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) plan proposed by President Obama to provide temporary work authorization for undocumented immigrant parents of U.S. citizens and legal residents.
The amendments also halt the expansion of DACA, a program that grants safe harbor to young people brought to the United States as children, including the DREAMers. DACA would have allowed millions of educated, law-abiding youth to get a social security number, drive a car, and be employed with benefits.