Sunday, June 16, 2024

DREAMers Are Not Just from Latin America

The debate around illegal immigration and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is often centered on Latinos, however, the population that immigrated to the United States illegally as minors is much more diverse than that. While the majority of applicants to the DACA program are from Mexico, and other predominantly Latino countries, seven of the top 24 counties with the highest acceptance rate for DACA applicants are in Asia, Europe or the Caribbean.

The countries with the largest number of black DACA recipients are Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Nigeria.  “While approximately 87 percent of applications from these four countries were approved, about 91 percent of DACA applications from all of the top 25 countries tracked by USCIS were approved,” according to the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI).

Often the fear of deportation is common for all undocumented immigrants, particularly justified among black immigrants because they are detained and deported at five times the rate of other undocumented populations. Undocumented Asians also make up 14 percent of America’s total undocumented population; one out of every seven Asian immigrants in the United States is undocumented.

“This is not about the economy or crime; rather he only seeks to further his xenophobic, anti-immigrant agenda, which continues to tear families apart,” said Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), who chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. “Dreamers are deeply woven into the fabric of our nation, including the many undocumented Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who arrived in the United States as children through no fault of their own.”

Washington Post