On Sunday, President-elect Donald Trump reiterated his promise to deport millions of undocumented immigrants who have criminal records. Following this assertion, Pasadena area Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27) is calling on the Obama Administration to take all legal measures available to prevent the names of those who enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs from being used as a list of deportation targets.
“When President Obama announced his plans to offer security to certain undocumented immigrants by letting them work without fear of deportation, immigration advocates like myself cheered and asked immigrants to trust us. I even hosted an event in my district to encourage and help immigrants to apply. These children and families provided extensive amounts of sensitive information to their government, including finger prints and relatives’ home addresses, with the understanding that it would not be used against them. We promised them security. Now they are facing a nightmare. When we asked immigrants to come out of the shadows, we never imagined the election of a candidate who ran on a policy of mass deportation. Now that Mr. Trump has been elected, we have just over two months to keep the list of those who qualified for DACA and DAPA from becoming a list of targets for deportation. I call on the Administration to consider all options to prevent the use of these names for deportation, that can protect these people. We must do the right thing today or risk losing the trust of the vulnerable forever.”
On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a series of executive orders that would defer deportation for approximately 4.7 million aspiring Americans living in the U.S. The largest initiatives included an expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the creation of a new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. Leading up to the President’s executive actions, Rep. Chu as Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) led meetings with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson, DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and senior White House aides, Cecilia Munoz and Neil Eggleston, to discuss the need to prioritize family unity in immigration reform. A copy of CAPAC’s executive action recommendations to Secretary Jeh Johnson can be found here.
These programs were subsequently halted by an injunction that was upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in May of 2015. On March 8, 2016, Rep. Chu joined 185 other Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 39 Members of the U.S. Senate, in their individual capacities as Members of Congress, to file an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the President’s executive action programs. On June 23, 2016 the Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s injunction in a deadlocked 4-4 decision.