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.
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.