September 11, 2017
The Asian American Bar Association (AABA) denounces the Trump Administration’s decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in March 2018 unless Congress passes legislation to extend or replace the program. DACA provided temporary relief from deportation and issued work permits for hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth. Approximately 800,000 “Dreamers,” including over 30,000 Asian Pacific Americans, benefitted from the program. As of September 5, 2017, no new DACA applications will be processed. Those who currently have DACA can reapply for a renewal by October 5, 2017, after which no renewals will be processed. AABA joins the American individuals and entities calling upon Congress to continue DACA as long as necessary to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Although Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited the threat of litigation questioning the legality of DACA as a basis for ending the program, over 100 immigration law professors and scholars signed an extensive letter finding that, based on the U.S. Constitution, immigration law and statutes, and case law, the executive branch has the authority to implement DACA and “DACA 2012 is a lawful exercise of prosecutorial discretion.”
Ending this program will have negative effects that will be felt by all Americans. In a letter to the president, more than 400 U.S. business leaders reaffirmed the vital role Dreamers play in the economy. The CATO Institute estimates that this decision will cost $280 billion in economic growth over the next 10 years. Notably, ending DACA will impact undocumented law students and pre-law students who could have meaningfully contributed to the legal profession, but will now live in fear of deportation and be unable to work lawfully.
AABA joins their fellow national and local bar associations, including the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and numerous other minority bar associations, in denouncing this repeal of DACA. We stand with the immigrant families and young people whose lives have been thrown into chaos and uncertainty after this decision.