DACA Anniversary Kicks Off Push to Enroll Asian Youth

San Diego – Today, immigrant advocates in San Diego commemorate the four-year anniversary of President Obama’s executive order, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), by calling on Asian Pacific Islander (API) youth to apply for the DACA program.

Launched in 2012, DACA provides an exemption from deportation and a renewable two-year work permit.  While the program has provided a better life for thousands of undocumented youth in San Diego County and across the nation, the API community has the lowest rate of enrollment. More than 80 percent of eligible undocumented youth from Mexico have applied, but only 20 percent of Koreans and Filipinos have done so.

“Undocumented youth from API communities are not alone — there are thousands of young people who have already benefitted from the DACA program. By coming forward and applying for DACA, API youth will be able to pursue higher education, help their families and secure a better future,” said Erwin Mendoza, spokesperson from Alliance San Diego, one of the leading organizations behind the Ready Now San Diego campaign.

“Alliance San Diego and other Ready Now San Diego partners are committed to working feverishly with community leaders in API communities to urge our youth to apply,” he said.

Ready Now San Diego is a project of Alliance San Diego, with the support of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium and other partners that focus on advocacy, education, and services in support of immigrant families. The next event of Ready Now San Diego is listed below.

Immigration Forum

About: Learn about DACA, DAPA, and other immigration relief options by attending this free workshop presented by our experienced staff members.

When: Tuesday, August 30 from 6pm to 8pm

Where: Encinitas Branch Library, 540 Cornish Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024


Over the last four years, DACA has provided immigration relief to hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth across the country, including many in San Diego County. It has helped them better integrate into society by allowing them to get a Social Security number, apply for a job, and go to college.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent split decision on expanded DACA and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), which would have provided immigration relief to millions more, essentially froze these programs before they were implemented. However, the original DACA remains in place. 

A special effort needs to be done to reach Asian Pacific Islander youth, including Chinese and Korean undocumented youth, and Filipino communities.

Although DACA provides temporary immigration relief for the undocumented, it is not a permanent solution. Until Congress rolls out an efficient immigration reform policy, Ready Now San Diego and other community organizations will continue to fight for immigration reform.