by Michelle Palmer
Neither Channon nor I were quite qualified to tackle the DACA issue without lots and lots of prior research, and due to time constraints on us both, that wasn’t really an option this week. However, I wanted to provide something for folks who, like me, want to understand the issue a bit more. So I did some legwork to gather and organize what information I could. The following is the result of that endeavor, and I hope it proves useful to someone!
What is DACA?
- Deferred Action for Child Arrivals
- “The program has allowed hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought to the United States illegally as children to remain in the country. Applicants cannot have serious criminal histories, and must have arrived in the U.S. before 2007, when they were under the age of 16. DACA recipients can live and work legally in the U.S. for renewable two-year periods.” – from a short summary of DACA from NBC.
- The application process is lengthy and complex.
Who are Dreamers?
- Dreamers, or DREAMers, are the 800,000 DACA recipients, many of whom were brought to America as children and know no other home.
- The term comes from the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act.
- 80% are of Mexican descent – Politico
- “…freed from the fear of deportation, many DACA recipients are starting businesses, buying homes and cars and opening bank accounts.” – The Economist
- And some are heroes: A ‘dreamer’ dies trying to save Harvey victims, days before Trump plans to end DACA
What happens if DACA is rescinded?
- Harm to the economy
- Lack of economic mobility for 800,000 Americans
- Uncertainty for the children of Dreamers, who are citizens.
- William Finnegan of The New Yorker says it’s Trump’s worst decision yet in terms of immediate human suffering.
- Violations of civil rights:
“On DACA, the [U.S. Commission on Civil Rights] called Trump’s move to stop allowing new applicants to the program and to let permits begin expiring in six months ‘a step backward for our country.’
The statement cited both the economic arguments for DACA, including 700,000 jobs that would be lost and the billions in tax revenue, as well as the humanitarian argument for the program’s participants.
‘They now face a reality where they are at risk of being exploited in the workplace and deported and prevented from fully contributing to and supporting their families, communities, and country,’ the panel wrote.”
Who supports DACA?
- Lindsey Graham
- Bill Clinton
- Barack Obama
- 15 States & D.C.
- Teach for America
- Pope Francis
- World Relief and Evangelical leaders
- Republicans AND Democrats – evidence here and here.
- The majority of Americans
…and many, many, many more.
THE MOST IMPORTANT PART
How do we help Dreamers?
- Speak up! Tell the Trump administration what you think. Call your Congressmen. Use your social media platform. Click here for step by step instructions!
- Use this website to contact the swing voters who could make a difference! https://dreamacttoolkit.org/
- For more resources, ways to fight back, and to find an event near you, check out http://weareheretostay.org/.
- DONATE! There are organizations working to help Dreamers; you can help them financially here:
And if all that wasn’t quite enough, this is a lengthy, but very informative, piece on the issue: Trump Ends DACA Program, No New Applications Accepted by Adam Edelman for NBC News