Tuesday, February 28, 2017

In deportation debate, don’t forget Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

The Urban Institute reminds us that President Trump's recent immigration executive orders affect Asian as well as Latina/o immigrants.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials last week detained hundreds of undocumented immigrants, including at least one who qualifies for the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive action, prompting emotional reactions from people on both sides of the issue. But public debate about President Trump’s pledge to secure the country’s southern border, cancel DACA, and crack down on illegal immigration often focuses on the large groups of Latinx beneficiaries, overlooking the hundreds of thousands of undocumented Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) families who will also be affected by the president’s immigration actions.

Asian American and Pacific Islanders accounted for about 14 percent of the undocumented immigrant population and 13 percent of immigrants immediately eligible for DACA when the program was announced in 2012. Disproportionately low DACA application rates among potentially eligible AAPIs reflect an urgent need for improved multilingual community outreach and education in all service areas.



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