2016 ELECTION: THE WAY FORWARD WITH RESOLVE AND RESILIENCE
On November 9th, 2016, we woke up to the reality of a deeply divided voter base, with almost an equal number of voters supporting divergent, even opposing visions for America’s future. The election outcome has left many, especially in the South Asian American community, in fear and uncertainty. SAAPRI is dedicated to ensuring that community members feel safe and supported in the face of divisive rhetoric or policies that may pit communities against each other.
SAAPRI is proud to lead the award-winning Chicago South Asian Deferred Action Coalition (SADAC), partnering with the Indo-American Center (IAC), Apna Ghar, Inc., and Chicago Desi Youth Rising in conducting outreach and education about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). SADAC will continue to push for responsible, equitable immigration reform that supports all of our community members, including those who are undocumented. SADAC will also continue to connect those in need with available community, municipal, and state resources.
Furthermore, in this troubling climate of fear and intimidation, SAAPRI joins SADAC in our commitment to create safe spaces for community members and in advocating for protections for those who are the targets of hate crimes.
SAAPRI is proud of the mobilization efforts of so many community members in this election and that energy will not be lost. We will work with community partners and in solidarity with other organizations to focus on the 2018 elections, and ensure that our communities maintain their civic engagement and fight for policies that further our interests.
Indian Americans alone are the second largest undocumented population in Illinois, second only to Mexican American undocumented immigrants. The executive action announced by President Obama on November 20th, 2016 will touch the lives of and provide relief for many South Asian immigrants from a diversity of backgrounds – including undocumented parents of citizens or legal permanent residents; childhood arrivals; victims of crimes and trafficking; high-skilled workers and their spouses; and foreign entrepreneurs and students. However, this action is partial and temporary and shows that long-lasting comprehensive immigration reform is still needed.
SAAPRI thanks the Illinois Immigrant Funders Collaborative, Woods Fund of Chicago, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Four Freedoms Fund, and South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) for their crucial support of this work.