Ju Hong’s issue strikes close to home…
Every month, we join immigrant advocates, immigration lawyers, and community volunteers at Swap Meet Justice to help people fill out government forms for citizenship, DACA and green cards renewals, voter registration and selective service.
We are always impressed by our DACA applicants – this group of 800,000 hardworking and well-educated young people brought here as children are estimated to add $460.3 billion in national gross domestic product to the U.S. over the next decade and over 200,000 were essential workers during the worst of the COVID pandemic. These are exactly the people we want as citizens, but our politicians can’t seem to summon the political will to give them a pathway to that status. To continue their life in the only country they call home, they must reapply every two years, for a fee of $495, or face deportation.
Therefore, it makes us sick to learn that even when our DACA applicants do everything right, they are still vulnerable to being taken from their families, due to nothing more that a paperwork backlog at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). “As of March 31, USCIS had a backlog of more than 55,000 pending first-time DACA applications,” in addition to over 44,000 renewal requests. As of March 2021: Less than 800 — or roughly 1.5% of applicants in that period — of 50,000 received between January and March 2021 have been approved.”
So we’re asking everyone to join in and help this one person – Ju Hong, and hope that the strength of our combined voices clears a path for all the others.
(Video of him here from (2012))
“My name is Ju Hong. I serve on Immigrants Rising’s Leadership Council, and I am now facing a major crisis. I need your help.
Last week, I was let go from my job with Alameda County and lost my health insurance because my DACA expired. Although I submitted my DACA application in March, well within the renewal window, I learned that USCIS has not even assigned an adjudications officer to review my application. It remains pending at this time.
What’s more, I recently learned that many other DACA recipients and DACA-eligible young people are dealing with the same problem. This is unacceptable.
My loved ones depend on my livelihood, and I have a chronic illness that requires regular care. If left untreated, I have a high risk of developing life-threatening complications. Not to mention that I am also now back to where I was in 2012 before DACA: at risk of deportation and separation from my family.
I am asking for your help to call my U.S. representatives to contact USCIS to expedite my DACA case as soon as possible. You can help me and others by calling our elected representatives, leaders in Congress, and the White House.
DACA is not enough — we need a permanent solution for our community members immediately. No one’s life should depend on a USCIS backlog. We must demand that the Biden Administration and Congress deliver a pathway to citizenship for all NOW!
We are all in this together. All 11 million of us.
Action #1: Call and/or email your representatives for Ju Hong.
Here’s the script. You can use NAKASEC‘s automatic dialer here (have your phone ready) or call/email on your own.
“Hi, my name is ____, [add your zip code if this is your own legislator] and I am [calling/writing] [NAME OF REPRESENTATIVE] for three reasons. First, my friend Ju Hong is a DACA recipient from California, and he needs his DACA renewed immediately. Even though he submitted his renewal application in March, his DACA has not been renewed and as a result, he was terminated from his job and lost his health insurance last week. Ju’s family depends on his income and he has a chronic illness that requires regular treatment. If untreated, he has a high risk of colon cancer. We need [NAME OF REPRESENTATIVE]] to contact USCIS to expedite Ju’s DACA. His DACA receipt # is IOE0911447446.
Second, this is not only happening to Ju. We learned that over 44,000 DACA renewals have not been processed by USCIS, and an additional 50,000 new applications have not been processed. This has real life consequences for people as they are losing their jobs, cannot work and support their families and are at risk of deportation and separation from their families. USCIS must be called on to clear the backlog now.
Lastly, my friend Ju’s situation shows that DACA is not enough- it is not a permanent solution and most of our undocumented community members are not eligible for DACA. We need Congress to include a pathway to citizenship in the current budget reconciliation process and I am asking [NAME OF REPRESENTATIVE]] to make a public commitment to this.
- If you talk with a live person: “When can we follow up with your office about these requests?” Email their response to firstname.lastname@example.org and she will follow up!
- Everyone can email Pelosi as Speaker of the House, (she has a special email for that) and can call her office and those of Schumer, Feinstein and Padilla. You just can’t email them through their regular contacts unless you are a CA resident.