By Mark Hallum
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing), fresh off her re-election as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee took a stand against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies Tuesday. She announced she would bring Angie Kim, a 32-year-old recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, as a guest to the president’s address to Congress that night.
DACA was created by former President Barack Obama in 2012 for immigrants brought to this country as children to receive work permits and stay in the United States.
“Having Angie as my guest for the president’s speech is a huge show of solidarity against the cruel and un-American immigration policies of the Trump Administration,” Meng said. “Her parents came here seeking a better life and she now works to improve the lives of other immigrants. I am proud to share her story and to have her stand with me at the president’s speech.”
Kim is an organizing fellow with the Flushing-base MinKwon Center for Community Action.
“I have used my story as an example of how broken, arduous and unjust the U.S. immigration system is,” Kim said. “In 2013, I had the privilege of meeting with then-President Obama where I and other ‘Dreamers’ shared our stories in the Oval Office. I thank Congresswoman Meng for inviting me and for standing-up to President Trump’s immigration policies.”
Following the president’s address to Congress, Meng said that while she agreed with him on points of investing in infrastructure, affordable care, paid family leave and helping veterans, she thought his goal of tax reform would only help the wealthy and overlooked issues facing working class men and women.
“I was disheartened to hear about President Trump’s priorities for the upcoming year. His first month has been tumultuous at best, from the chaotic implementation of his disgraceful travel ban to the resignation of his National Security adviser to his self-inflicted war with the media,” she said.
Meng is currently serving her third term in Congress and is the first Asian American representative from New York.
Meng was voted into a second term as one of five chairs of the Democratic National Committee at a meeting at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta, Ga.
“We must reach out to emerging and immigrant communities, millennials, the grassroots and help build-up our state and local parties,” she said after her victory.
Tom Perez, the Labor secretary in the Obama administration, was elected the chairman of the DNC chair by a vote of 235-200 over U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota. Perez is the first member of the Latino community elected to the position and will succeed acting Chair Donna Brazile.
Perez represented another victory of establishment Democrats over the progressive members led by Ellison and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall