Standing together with ALL youth!

“Compassion is a muscle that gets stronger with use, and the regular exercise of choosing kindness over cruelty would change us.”


By: Neel Saxena, Executive Director
Photos Courtesy of Various Sources

This past Tuesday, the current administration announced the end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), thrusting the hopes and dreams of 780,000 young people and their families into uncertainty. Over the last few days, these youth and their supporters have staged rallies and protests, demonstrating their resilience and contributions to American economy and culture, and the overall impact of the repeal. The Cato Institute states that a repeal of DACA will lead to a reduction of the U.S. economic growth by $280 billion over the next ten years.  The social impact of the repeal of DACA on the lives of these young people is also immeasurable. A study done on the parents of dreamer children states that even the temporary protection of DACA has contributed to the mental well-being of these youth and prevented the onset of several mental disorders. The repeal of DACA could lead to an increase in mental illness diagnoses in children of DACA mothers.

While this is often portrayed in the mainstream media as a Latinx issue, the Center for Migration Studies (CMS) estimates that there are 1.7 million undocumented Asians in America, which means that 1 in 7 Asian immigrants are undocumented.  Of Asian American ethnic groups, Asian Indians represent the largest group of undocumented Asian Americans with Virginia in the top 10 list of states where undocumented Asian Americans reside.

It remains important for the AALEAD family that we continue to value and appreciate the perspectives, histories, and cultures of the 23 different ethnic populations that we support, and work in solidarity with all youth from all communities impacted by this decision and the resulting injustices that may arise from this action.

We commend all the groups like NAKASEC, MLOV, APALRC, and countless others for their actions in supporting APA youth through their advocacy and direct support.

In the coming days, AALEAD will work with these and other groups to identify resources and gather information. As it has always been for the past 20 years, AALEAD’s after school and mentoring program are and will always be open and welcoming to ALL youth. We remain a committed, safe space for all youth and we support their emotional well-being, for these  youth are the leaders of today and the leaders we will need tomorrow.

Here are some links on resources and information.  AALEAD staff will provide updates and support to all youth in all programs. 

 5 things to know about the DACA announcement (Source: United We Dream)











Local Schools & DACA

Montgomery County Public Schools 

Montgomery College

DC Public Schools (DC Mayor’s Office)

Fairfax Public Schools (Annandale HS)

Finally to all youth, especially to those impacted by the DACA decision, I stand in solidarity with you and remain committed to do my part and act with compassion and in support of your dignity.

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