WASHINGTON DC – Democratic National Committee Vice Chair Grace Meng, Washington State Senator Manka Dhingra, and DACA recipient Parthiv Patel held a press call to discuss President Trump’s immigration policies and the destructive effects they have on Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities.
“I’m the daughter of immigrants. The first one in my family to come to the US was my grandmother,” said Meng. “ She worked for years as a nanny and was eventually able to sponsor my mom.”
She said that without family-sponsored immigration, she would not have been able to be here today representing communities and the country in Congress.
“Contrary to what this administration says, (Dreamers are) the hardest working Americans that you will see,” she said.
Washington State Senator Dhingra said that she has been involved in addressing hate crimes in King County since after 9/11.
“The area that I represent—45th LD is home to many tech employees—some of whom are here on a H1B visa—it is taking them decades to convert that visa into a green card. Decades,” said Dhingra. “The question that people forget to ask, is what happens to their children when they turn 18. These kids come here at a young age with their parents, but when they become adults, they suddenly have no legal status. We are a country of immigrants. Immigrants enrich and contribute to the success of America every single day.”
DACA recipient Patel, the first DREAMer admitted to the Pennsylvania and New Jersey State bars, said he did not what to do.
“All I thought was – was all of my hard work for nothing? Was I ever going to be admitted to the bar? Was I ever going to be able to fulfill my dreams of becoming an attorney? But I decided to do what Dreamers do best; I decided to preserve,” Patel said. “I was never really big about speaking out and showcasing my status. But that kind of changed for me over the course of the last six months. Realizing that Dreamers have a lot on the line. There are nights where Dreamers toss and turn in bed not knowing what’s going to happen.”
Patel said that he felt like this was a time where Dreamers who can lend their voice, and speak out.
“That’s why I began to speak out. Also, another reason that I began to speak out was because I realized that especially in the Asian community, there is this notion that nobody speaks about their status,” Patel said. “I think it’s important that we begin to speak out, because this is not just a Latino issue… this is a global issue.”