WASHINGTON — The Japanese American Citizens League on Thursday joined the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans and several other Asian American advocacy organizations at a news conference held in front of the White House to urge President Trump to defend DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Trump has threatened to end the DACA, which could put approximately 800,000 young people at risk of deportation.
The news conference took place on day 17 of the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium’s Dream Action, a 22-day-long vigil being held in front of the White House through Sept. 5, the deadline given by 10 state attorneys general to President Trump to end DACA.
Among those present to make a statement in defense of DACA was Hanseul Kang, the District of Columbia’s state superintendent of education, who shared her experience of once being an undocumented youth.
JACL Executive Director David Inoue made the following statement: “As Americans, we all have an immigrant story. For Japanese Americans, we have our Issei. This usually refers to the Japanese who came to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century. They came with dreams.
“They built homes, businesses, farms, a vibrant community, and, of course, families. Their children were born here, American citizens. Yet in spite of them doing what was expected, contributing to the community, to the economy, 75 years ago, they were ordered into concentration camps and incarcerated for nothing more than being Japanese and Japanese American. 120,000 people whose lives were uprooted and whose American dreams were crushed.
“We always say we need to learn from history. If so, why are we on the path today towards crushing the dreams of our DACA recipients? The immigrant story and their success is one that is so fundamental to the values of our country and today the Japanese American Citizens League is here to stand up for protecting the American dream for all of our DACA dreamers.”