Unresponsive at first, the full impact of the decision settled in and I was devastated. I sat down and watched Univision — they were interviewing all of the disappointed parents and Dreamers. Seeing their heartbroken faces and frustrations hit me hard. It was another blow for immigration activists. One of many received over the years.
Obama’s expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and launch of a new program for undocumented parents of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), could provide millions of undocumented immigrants temporary relief from deportation and access to work permits.
Cheong had graduated at the top of his class in Baltimore, but here in the Bay Area, college after college turned down his application for in-state tuition. He finally enrolled in De Anza Community College in Cupertino, working part-time as a cashier in local restaurants to help with tuition. The college fees, he said, were not exactly affordable, but they were “manageable.” His father’s salary as a pastor at a small South Bay Korean church, and his mother’s job as an announcer at a Korean radio station barely covered his tuition.
The forum, held last Saturday, focused on two key pieces of legislation. The first, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country before their 16th birthday and before June 2007 to receive a renewable two-year work permit and temporary relief from deportation. The second, Prop. 47, reclassifies certain low level, non-violent felony convictions to misdemeanors.
Asian Americans need to join the immigration movement to diversify it, Kem said, perform more outreach, and gain as strong a media presence on the issue of immigration as Latinos have. “That really brings power to the Latino voice,” Kem said.