After the 2016 presidential election, the fight for DACA and immigrant rights will continue

Friday, Nov 18, 2016

After the Nov. 8 presidential election, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) remains as committed as ever to fight for the rights of Asian American and Pacific Islander immigrant communities in the face of the new administration's proposal to deport millions of undocumented individuals. This could threaten the continuation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative, which was announced by President Obama in June 2012 through an executive action and can be ended by the next president. Under the DACA program, certain undocumented individuals who came to this country before the age of 16 are provided temporary relief from deportation and employment authorization.

Annie Wang, AALDEF staff attorney, said: "Although the future of the 2012 DACA initiative is uncertain at this time, AALDEF will provide free consultations to Asian immigrant youth who are seeking to renew their deferred action and work authorization under the original DACA program. We also plan to offer legal screenings to individuals who would have qualified for the new DACA to determine if other forms of relief are available to them." AALDEF is currently providing the following guidance:

  • Individuals filing an initial DACA request, who were formerly not known to the government, increase their exposure to potential enforcement actions that the new administration decides to take in the future. [Note that according to one source, it's taking USCIS more than nine months to process initial DACA requests.]

  • Current DACA recipients seeking to renew their deferred action and employment authorization are unlikely to subject themselves to additional risks by submitting renewal requests at this time. However, they may not have their applications processed in time before the new administration ends DACA and could lose their filing fee in that event.

  • DACA recipients who have been granted or are seeking advance permission (known as advance parole) to travel outside the U.S. should ensure that they return to the country before January 20, 2017, the date the new administration takes office.
Margaret Fung, AALDEF executive director, said: "As a national civil rights organization that advocates for fair immigration policies, we continue to strongly support the president's immigration actions that have provided temporary protection from deportation and employment authorization for eligible individuals. The DACA initiative has transformed the lives of thousands of undocumented immigrants of AAPI descent out of a total of almost 1.5 million undocumented Asian immigrants in this country."

NOTE: Individuals who believe they would have qualified for the original DACA initiative or DACA recipients who are seeking renewals should go to reputable attorneys and nonprofit legal service providers to see if they qualify for other forms of immigration relief. They should also be wary of individuals claiming that they can help get work authorization for a fee without applying for a benefit.

Download the updated DACA fact sheet here.

*     *     *
For more information, contact:
Annie Wang, Staff Attorney
212.966.5932 x213


Remembering AALDEF board member Vivian Cheng-Khanna,1955-2017


2017 AALDEF exit poll: 2,538 Asian American voters polled in 4 states: VA, NJ, NY, MA


Nov. 15-16: AALDEF calls on Asian Americans to mobilize in DC for a clean DREAM Act


AALDEF to conduct exit poll & monitor poll sites in NJ, VA, NYC, & Boston on Election Day


Feb. 15, 2018: AALDEF lunar new year gala honoring Preet Bharara, Linda Greenhouse, and Chan Lee


Oct. 24: AALDEF "M. Butterfly" theater party and talkback with playwright David Henry Hwang


Oct. 1: DACA renewal clinic at Flushing Library


AALDEF denounces ending of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; new DACA fact sheet


Federal appeals court upholds ruling in AALDEF case that Texas election law violates Voting Rights Act


AALDEF denounces introduction of RAISE Act to restrict legal imigration


AALDEF exit poll presentations in Miami, Las Vegas, Atlanta & San Diego


AALDEF statement on the president's voter fraud commission


Screening of new PBS film "Chinese Exclusion Act" and Q&A with Ric Burns and Li-shin Yu on May 23


New AALDEF report: The Asian American Vote in 2016


AALDEF joins amicus brief in State of Hawaii's challenge to revised Trump travel ban


AALDEF condemns Trump Administration's revamped anti-immigrant travel ban


AALDEF joins Korematsu Center amicus brief in challenge to Trump travel ban in Brooklyn federal court