Actress Lupita Nyong’o and comedian Kumail Nanjiani on Sunday used their time on stage at the Oscars, while presenting the Oscar for best production design, to express their support for the ‘Dreamers’ who face the possibility of deportation.
The actress and comedian both explained that they, too, are immigrants who achieved their dreams while living in the United States.
“Like everyone in this room and everyone watching at home, we are dreamers,” Lupita said. “We grew up dreaming of one day working in the movies. Dreams are the foundation of Hollywood, and dreams are the foundation of America.”
“To all the Dreamers out there, we stand with you,” Nanjiani said.
The future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration programme currently hangs in the balance. DACA was first introduced in June 2012 under the Obama administration.
The programme, which protects undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation, remains uncertain after President Donald Trump controversially ended it in September.
In his January Sotu speech, Trump endorsed a path to citizenship for 1.8 million undocumented immigrants — more than the 690,000 currently enrolled in Obama’s programme — “because Americans are dreamers, too”. But Democrats rejected the deal due to its opposition of chain migration and the Green Card lottery.
The presenters explained that Lupita is Kenyan-Mexican, while comedian Nanjiani is a Pakistani-American from Iowa. “Two places that nobody in Hollywood can find on a map,” the comedian joked.
A Supreme Court ruling last week extended the deadline to reach an agreement about the programme for another few months. This extension has the potential to survive until midterm elections.
The ruling was enforced after the Trump administration went to the High Court in January to argue that recipients should not be able to apply for renewals of their DACA applications. A San Francisco judge denied their argument and said the administration failed to justify why they wanted to end the programme.