The new Congress already proves it could care less about immigrants and their families
by Sandhya Bathija
It’s hardly been two weeks into a new Congress, and the U.S. House of Representatives is ready to roll back any progress we’ve recently made for immigrants and their families.
Immigrants and advocates won relief from President Barack Obama in November 2014, when he announced administrative reforms that would keep up to 5 million undocumented immigrants and their families in the United States without fear. This included up to half a million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Now the fate of this executive action and other reforms hang in the balance.
The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote tomorrow on a bill to fund the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This bill must pass, otherwise DHS won’t receive funding to carry out its duties, namely to stop threats to national security.
Knowing this, certain anti-immigrant lawmakers have attached amendments to this bill that threaten immigrants and their families. Among other changes, these amendments primarily seek to:
1) Undo President Obama’s November action on immigration, putting up to 5 million undocumented immigrants at risk for separation from their families.
2) Repeal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which Obama introduced in 2012 to shield DREAMers from deportation.
3) Turn back DHS enforcement priorities — meaning even more people will be deported.
These anti-immigrant lawmakers are pushing these amendments, full-well knowing they have no plans to offer any real solution to fix our broken immigration system and keep together the families of 11 million undocumented immigrations — including 1.3 million Asian and Pacific Islanders.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC made a strong case for why Asian Americans support executive action on immigration, which is why we sent a letter to House Leadership today opposing these anti-immigrant and anti-family amendments.
Until Congress offers a real solution, we need to make sure the president’s relief for immigrant families stays intact. Here’s what you can do: Call your member of Congress (1–888–352–3520) and tell him/her to stop playing politics with our families lives.
Sandhya Bathija is the director of strategic communications at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC.