Dreamers Need Immediate Relief
On Sept. 5, Trump announced that he was terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The Obama-era program provides relief from deportation for an estimated 800,000 young immigrants. These immigrants have gone to our schools, they live and work in our communities, they have families, and now they’re at an even greater risk of deportation. Congress must act immediately to protect Dreamers.
WHAT IS THE DACA PROGRAM?
DACA provides relief from deportation to certain young immigrants. In 2012, President Obama created the DACA program to grant relief from deportation to individuals who came to the U.S. as children, if they met a number of requirements (like extensive background checks). The Obama Administration recognized that there were millions of undocumented young immigrants who grew up in the U.S., who were essentially American in every sense, except on paper. The program has allowed approximately 800,000 young people the opportunity to live and work lawfully in the U.S. It does not provide a path to citizenship. Check out this short video explaining the program.
DACA is constitutional. Opponents of DACA, including Trump, are falsely claiming that DACA is unconstitutional. But nationally renowned constitutional scholars have weighed in, like in this letter to Trump, arguing that not only is DACA constitutional, but that previous presidents from both parties have used the same process to grant relief from deportation to other immigrants.
DACA works, and it has improved the lives of its recipients and their families. Among DACA recipients:
- 95% are currently working or in school
- 48% got a job with better working conditions
- 63% got a better paying job
- 90% got a driver’s license or state ID
- 54% bought their first car
- 12% bought their first home
WHAT THE END OF THE DACA PROGRAM MEANS
Donald Trump has betrayed our values and unraveled our promise to these young immigrants who grew up calling the United States home. When the program was created back in 2012, the U.S. government asked eligible immigrants to come forward, to volunteer their personal information, undergo a background check, and pay a large fine, in exchange for protection from deportation. Indeed, DACA is a promise of safety by the U.S. government to the 800,000 individuals who have been granted DACA—and now that promise has been broken.
Trump’s elimination of DACA is part of his white supremacist agenda. Trump’s decision is consistent with his broader, white supremacist agenda. He notably pardoned former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio on August 25, a man who made his career by violating the constitutional rights of those he was sworn to protect because of the color of their skin. Make no mistake: Trump is systematically attacking people of color, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, and anyone else he can “other.”
TELL YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO BE DREAM HEROES AND TAKE THE PLEDGE!
There is bipartisan support for the Dream Act in both the Senate and House. And the bill enjoys massive support from the American public. Now that Donald Trump has yanked protection away from immigrant youth, it is now up to Congress to take action. Every day that goes by is a day in which the lives of immigrant youth remain at risk.
Ask your members of Congress to become Dream Heroes now!
Who are Dream Heroes? They are members of Congress who pledge to protect Dreamers. On December 8, Congress voted to kick the can down the road 2 weeks by passing a short-term funding bill. If they haven’t passed the Dream Act by Dec. 22, when this short-term funding bill expires, then a Dream Hero will insist on including the Dream Act as part of the final December spending bill. The pledge is that they will only vote for a continuing resolution ("CR") if it has the Dream Act included. A vote on a continuing resolution without the Dream Act is a vote to deport Dreamers.