San Francisco JACL Chapter
Calls to Support Dreamers
September 21, 2017 Press Release
Contact: Judy Hamaguchi, President-San Francisco JACL
The San Francisco Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (“SF JACL”), strong in its opposition to President Trump’s proposal ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”), is encouraged by reports last week of his agreement to pursue legislative protection for undocumented immigrants (“Dreamers”) brought as children to remain in the United States. SF JACL calls for everyone to continue immediate actions protecting the civil rights of the approximately 800,000 Dreamers, while federal legislative protection is pursued.
The 2012 administrative program implemented by President Obama allows Dreamers to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit after an extensive background check. To eliminate the program and send Dreamers back to countries they may know nothing about is patently un-American. As written by President Obama on his Facebook page:
They were brought to this country by their parents, sometimes even as infants. They may not know a country besides ours. They may not even know a language besides English. They often have no idea they're undocumented until they apply for a job, or college, or a driver's license... Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn't threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us... Kicking them out won't lower the unemployment rate, or lighten anyone's taxes, or raise anybody's wages.
While DACA’s immigration policies are evaluated in Congress, DACA’s current protections must not be taken away from Dreamers who have relied on these provisions to establish lives in the U.S. for themselves and, in some cases, their children. Once granted, DACA’s protections should not be eliminated based on unfounded speculations about undocumented immigrants. To do so is reminiscent of the wartime hysteria that unconstitutionally incarcerated 120,000 people of Japanese heritage in World War II concentration camps.
SF JACL encourages all people to proactively protect Dreamers’ rights and eliminate the uncertainty that is disrupting their current lives. Please consider taking the following actions suggested by a San Francisco Dreamer in a recent plea:
Are you from out of state? Get your folks/family/friends who are out of this state in a less friendly environment (i.e. a red state) to call their Representatives in Congress. Writing, and showing up at Rallies, definitely helps. Or even just talk to them about the things you've learned.
If you're here, show up at Rallies. You'll see this SF Dreamer there. Today there's one starting at 5 p.m. in front of the San Francisco Federal building. Ideas for creative signs also welcome. J
Find information about any topic in the immigration debate and get to know it. This SF Dreamer’s particular fight is around DACA, but that's not everyone's struggle. When you arm yourself with this information, just imagine the kind of conversations you can have with people who have all sorts of misguided information about people like this SF Dreamer! At the end of the day, migration, immigration, displacement, refugees, and everything in between is about human beings and nothing else.
So... the more you know about any particular part of the discussion, the more success we Dreamers and our supporters will have educating others into a productive conversation.
SF JACL also strongly encourages contacting your Congressional Representative and make a direct appeal to pass the legislation necessary to protect the civil rights of Dreamers. Please also reach out to community groups who have organized programs helping Dreamers address the uncertainty of their current status created by President Trump’s recent actions.
The compassionate action that built America is our goal and is what we expect of all Americans. Please join us.
For more information on what you can do to help, please contact the SF Chapter of the JACL through our Facebook page www.facebook/sfjacl or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.