The day after President Obama’s announcement on taking Executive action for immigration, over two-dozen immigrants from DRUM – South Asian Organizing Center and other organizations gathered in Jackson Heights to express how pleased and relieved they were.
After more than a year and a half since grassroots groups around the country started the #Not1More campaign to move the President to halt deportations, end programs that criminalize immigrants, and expand the relief granted to young people in 2012, DRUM says the sacrifice and courage of its members and immigrants across the country who pressured the Administration has led to results.
A beneficiary of the program, 13 year old Nushin Tarannum said that “when my father was detained, I decided that we couldn’t suffer in silence anymore and began to organize for administrative relief. As a result of this announcement, my father will be able to work safely and without fear of detention or deportation.”
Of those excluded from the program, Amana Begum, spoke about her husband who “has been in this country for over 20 years now, yet still won’t benefit from this program. Since the announcement also includes continued enforcement, he will live in even more fear of being detained or deported.”
DRUM Director, Fahd Ahmed adds, “the national consensus turned against hateful politics and for inclusion. Nation-wide cities are limiting local involvement in federal deportation efforts, including New York City. With ICE’s abusive actions being rejected across the country, it was only a matter of time before the President had to act. Now, with more of our community safe, we have to fight for everyone left out. Every single person in our communities is fully deserving of relief and equality.”
City Council member, Daniel Dromm, praised “the courage and efforts of immigrant communities that made this happen. Now we have to work with community organizations to ensure that people are not scammed or taken advantage of.”
DRUM members also used has also started giving out flyers to community members with basic information about the programs, and information for upcoming community information sessions.
By Vishnu Bisram