Communities React to Plan to End DACA

Jessica Moreno Caycho (center) joined other protesters near Trump Tower on Sept. 5 (Image via video)

In covering President Donald Trump’s decision on Sept. 5 to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, NYC publications reported on reactions from their respective communities. See excerpts of some of the responses in the roundup below. Click on the name of the media outlet for its full story.

The Korea Times’ Jin Woo Cho reports that on the day of the announcement, the MinKwon Center for Community Action joined other Korean organizations – including the Wonkwang Community Service Center, Korean American Family Service Center, YWCA of Queens, Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York and church groups – in speaking out against ending the DACA program. At the press conference, MinKwon’s co-director, James Hong, said:

“We are very disappointed that the Trump administration decided to shatter the dreams of 800,000 Dreamers, including 18,000 Koreans.”

He added: “We won’t give up and stop helping Dreamers and undocumented immigrants.”

The Korean American Association of Greater New York and Korea American Civic Empowerment will start a letter-writing campaign to push lawmakers to pass legislation protecting Dreamers.

James Hong (center) of the MinKwon Center, and members from other Korean organizations, voiced their criticism against rescinding DACA. (Photo via The Korea Times)

A Bronx Free Press/Manhattan Times’ story by Gregg McQueen quotes Angie Kim, a member of MinKwon, and César Vargas, the city’s first undocumented lawyer:

“Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration’s decision to rescind DACA is appalling and disgraceful,” said Angie Kim, DACA recipient and community organizer at MinKwon Center for Action. “This will in effect jeopardize over 800,000 innocent young lives, including myself. I will stand with my undocumented community until we have justice.”

“With or without DACA, I am an American,” said Cesar Vargas, a DACA recipient and co-director of the Dream Action Coalition. “I am an attorney, and this is the country I call home. While my DACA expires until 2019, there are thousands who will lose their protection on March 6. We will fight for them so they are not rounded up and deported.”

Jackson Heights Post‘s Tara Law covered a Jackson Heights town hall held the night of Sept. 5 on what the end of DACA means for the community. During the Make the Road New York event, lawyers explained how it would affect the application and renewal process going forward. In addition:

Health program director Rebecca Telzak urged the audience to take care of themselves during stressful times. She said that Make the Road will host a support group for DACA recipients, and that the organization is ready to provide members of the community with referrals to mental health professionals.

Another Queens publication, QNS, gathered reaction from borough officials including Rep. Gregory Meeks:

“With his decision to uproot and kick out Dreamers, this president is once again demonstrating an utter lack of sympathy and a failure to uphold American values,” Queens Congressman Gregory Meeks said. “I look forward to working with my Democratic and Republican colleagues in Congress to pass legislation as soon as possible to restore those protections and grant a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. It’s now up to Congress to make clear that America is still a land of opportunity for all.”

In “Jews Mobilize to Defend Dreamers After Trump Ends DACA,” The Forward’s Aiden Pink speaks to a DACA recipient who came from the Dominican Republic at age 4. She said, “We were brought here as children, brought up to feel like Americans. I feel like an American. This is my home.” A Jewish professional, who employed her as a babysitter, said that the decision “reminds me of the persecution of the Jews leading up to World War II.” The article includes condemnation of the move from numerous Jewish organizations.

An opinion piece from IrishCentral staff, entitled “Hey Donald, it’s immigrants like your mother and wife that make America great,” says:

Another longtime immigrant nation – Ireland – has some bad news for Trump and Sessions. Irish people who grew up in the North during the long decades of the Troubles have taken particular note of the tenor of these times, because we have seen this kind of Trumpian demagoguery before.

For decades in the North we witnessed blinkered politicians who believed that the future of their own electorate depended on oppressing everyone else.

We saw first hand the kind of society that is born out of that blatant favoritism. We saw what happens when all the disfavored social groups are made second-class citizens in their own country.

Taking the North down that sectarian path led to the eruption of violence and decades of civil conflict. We are appalled to see Donald Trump take the United States of America down a similar cul de sac.

Jose Antonio Vargas (Photo by Skyler Reid)

The FilAm’s Crisitina DC Pastor covered reactions from Filipinos, as well as that of Jose Antonio Vargas, one of the most high-profile undocumented immigrants in the country.

Also see stories from El Diario on responses from the Latino community and representatives in Congress who plan to put forth a legislative alternative. And watch video from a protest at Trump Tower when the decision was announced.

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