Today, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance ( NQAPIA ) delivered 971 postcards from lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ( LGBT ) Asian Americans, South Asians, Southeast Asians, Pacific Islanders ( APIs ) and allies from across the country urging President Trump preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ( DACA ) program. The program has helped thousands of LGBT API young people trying to work, study, and improve their lives in this country. The elimination of DACA till take away employment opportunities, educational opportunities, and even the slightest relief from fears of deportation.
APIs are the fastest growing racial group in the United States today and the largest segment of new immigrants. 169,000 APIs are eligible for DACA. There is an estimated 267,000 undocumented immigrants who are LGBT, of which a disproportionate share is API. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, about 16,000 people from South Korea, the Philippines, India, and Pakistan have benefitted from DACA.
Glenn D. Magpantay, NQAPIA Executive Director, said: "DACA was never a perfect program, but it was a step in the right direction. President Trump's mean-spirited cancellation of DACA will force 800,000 people to live in even greater fear. Talented and hard-working DACA young people are the ones who are truly making America great. Again the President cuts back on the American dream and contributors to our economy." For example:
Tony Choi is a 24 year-old gay Korean DACA beneficiary from New Jersey. In 2010, his options were to live a closeted life taking care of this mother with cancer in the US or return to Korea where his LGBT identity would subject him to harsh hazing for two years in the mandatory military service. Korean military penal law also criminalizes homosexuality. Read and listen to his story at http://www.nqapia.org/wpp/uncovering-our-stories-tony-choi/
Bupendra Ram is a South Asian Dreamer from Fiji who came to the United State when he was only 2 years old. He is the first person in his family to attain a college degree. Read his story at http://www.nqapia.org/wpp/uncovering-our-stories-bupendra/
These stories demonstrate how DACA and other programs have protected LGBT APIs from harassment, discrimination and hardship. http://www.nqapia.org/wpp/programs-campaigns/uncovering-our-stories/
Sasha W., NQAPIA Organizing Director, added: "By taking away DACA, like enacting the Muslim Ban, the Trans Military Ban, and more, Trump has made large swaths of the American people vulnerable to continued attacks."
Magpantay continued, "NQAPIA, which has long fought hard to preserve DACA and for immigrants' rights, will take our fight to Congress. We urge Congress to codify DACA into law."
The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance ( NQAPIA ) is a nationwide federation of LGBT Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander ( API ) organizations. We seek to build the organizational capacity of local LGBT API groups, develop leadership, and expand collaborations to better challenge homophobia and racism.