WASHINGTON DC – Today, DNC Vice Chair Grace Meng, Washington State Senator Manka Dhingra, and DACA recipient Parthiv Patel held a press call to discuss Trump’s immigration policies and the destructive effects they have on Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities.
Some highlights from the call:
DNC Vice Chair Grace Meng:
“I’m the daughter of immigrants. The first one in my family to come to the US was my grandmother. She worked for years as a nanny and was eventually able to sponsor my mom.” […] “Without family-sponsored immigration, I would not have been able to be here with you today representing our communities and our country in Congress.”
“Contrary to what this administration says, (Dreamers are) the hardest working Americans that you will see.”
Washington State Senator Manka Dhingra:
“I have been involved in addressing hate crimes in King County since after 9/11 and so in December 2016—I was at the local mosque in Redmond WA attending a safety forum—I was there with our local police chiefs and law enforcement officers in a very large auditorium filled with people. People who were so scared because they did not know what was going to happen to them, their children or their families.”
“The area that I represent—45th LD is home to many tech employees—some of whom are here on a H1B visa—it is taking them decades to convert that visa into a green card. Decades. The question that people forget to ask, is what happens to their children when they turn 18. These kids come here at a young age with their parents, but when they become adults, they suddenly have no legal status. We are a country of immigrants. Immigrants enrich and contribute to the success of America every single day.”
DACA recipient Parthiv Patel, the first DREAMer admitted to the Pennsylvania and New Jersey State bars:
“I didn’t know what to do. All I thought was - was all of my hard work for nothing? Was I ever going to be admitted to the bar? Was I ever going to be able to fulfill my dreams of becoming an attorney? But I decided to do what Dreamers do best; I decided to preserve.”
“I was never really big about speaking out and showcasing my status. But that kind of changed for me over the course of the last six months. Realizing that Dreamers have a lot on the line. There are nights where Dreamers toss and turn in bed not knowing what’s going to happen. […] I felt like this was a time where Dreamers that can lend their voice, Dreamers that can out and speak out, should go speak out. That’s why I began to speak out. Also, another reason that I began to speak out was because I realized that especially in the Asian community, there is this notion that nobody speaks about their status. […] I think it’s important that we begin to speak out, because this is not just a Latino issue […] this is a global issue.”
AAPI immigrants and their families stand to lose tremendously under President Trump’s proposed revisions to legal immigration. Increasing restrictions on family-based visas, as President Trump has proposed, would likely increase Asian undocumented immigration in the years ahead.