Community project to connect undocumented Asian Pacific Islander youth with DACA resources

The Asian Pacific Islander Community Leadership Foundation (ACLF) and 21 Progress announced a partnership to outreach to undocumented Asian Pacific Islander youth to connect them with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) resources.

While nationally 64 percent of the eligible applicants from Mexico have applied for DACA, the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community has lagged far behind. Only 16 percent of the eligible applicants from the Philippines and 33 percent of the applicants from Korea have applied.

“In Washington state more than 4,000 API eligible youth have yet to apply for DACA,” said Sharon Maeda, Executive Director of 21 Progress. “We need to reach all undocumented youth especially API’s to make them aware and help them take advantage of this opportunity. 21 Progress is excited to work with ACLF to make the American Dream possible for API undocumented youth across the state.”

The ACLF and 21 Progress’ project will:

  • Identify barriers and resources within the Asian Pacific Islander community.
  • Develop a strategic outreach plan to connect with DACA eligible API individuals, community organizations.
  • Build and maintain lasting partnerships.

The project is part of ACLF’s Community Leaders Program (CLP), a six month leadership program that offers training and mentorship to individuals with an interest and passion in social justice and leadership roles in their community. The CLP participants attend bi-monthly workshops and network with community leaders and complete a group project that benefits and contributes to a healthy and vibrant API community.

“ACLF is proud to partner with 21 Progress on this ambitious and much needed project that will benefit the API community,” said Nicole Keenan, ACLF Board Chair. “Too often because of the model minority stereotype the API community is forgotten and seen inaccurately as not needing resources like DACA. This project will connect undocumented API youth with valuable resources and teach ACLF’s CLP participants leadership skills and the importance of community.”

About 21 Progress

21 PROGRESS provides programs that enhance leadership development among the hard working people of Washington, their families, and communities. Through popular education, civic engagement and arts & culture, 21 PROGRESS assists emerging leaders – especially young adults and immigrants – to claim their place in building a more just society and reaching their American Dream.


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