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Congresswoman Meng: Undocumented Asians Should Consider DACA

Congresswoman Grace Meng, representing parts of Queens, said that now is the time for young Asian undocumented Asian immigrants to come forward and apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).“Many of these youth know no other home aside from the United States," she said at a press conference in Elmhurst last week. "Under DACA, the Department of Homeland Security will not deport children for a two-year period,” Meng said. “It’s not a long-term solution, but a desperately needed temporary fix for our broken immigration system that helps our youth right now.”

Meng highlighted the underutilization of DACA by Asian immigrants, saying “Eight percent of the undocumented youth who are eligible for DACA are from Asia, but only 2.6 percent of applicants are Asian." Koreans are the only Asians who have applied for DACA in large numbers, making up nearly half of all Asian DACA applicants. Koreans are the fourth largest source of DACA applicants.

Meng also reminded those who have received DACA protection that their time to renew their permits is coming up. Those with DACA should renew 120 to 150 days before their permits expire. “It is critical for our communities to spread the word loud and clear that those with DACA status must renew their enrollment in the program as soon as possible,” said Meng. “DACA has allowed more than half a million undocumented youth to come out of the shadows and contribute to our society. But those people, who are undocumented through no fault of their own, must understand the requirement to reapply, and I urge qualified immigrants who have not applied at all to do so at once.”

Patrick Young is an attorney with CARECEN.

 

 

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