Things That Matter

There Are Many Ways To Help DACAmented People. Here Are A Few.

Last week, when Attorney General when Jeff Sessions announced the suspension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, there was overwhelming amount of immediate support for DACA recipients from politicians, activists, celebrities, organizations and others around the country.

We know the fight to protect the dignity and respect of all immigrants will continue for the months and years to come.

The first step will be to keep putting pressure on our elected officials to pass a comprehensive immigration reform that not only keeps DACA intact but offers a permanent and humane solution for all immigrants. The bipartisan DREAM Act of 2017 is the most immediate solution. Calling your public officials is just one important way to show our support.

There’s a few other ways to show support for our communities and our DACAmented friends and family in the next few months and turn outrage into action.  

CREDIT: YouCaring
  1. Sponsor a DACA beneficiary! If a person’s DACA expires between September 5, and March 5, 2018 they are eligible to renew their permit one last time. In order to help recipients meet the October 5 renewal deadline, local organizations have put together fundraising drives to sponsor applications, which cost $495. You can also support by paying legal fees for demonstrators who were arrested in front of Trump Tower the day of the announcement. Remember the #resistance costs money.
  2. Call your local school board member and ask them to pledge support for DACA students by not providing ICE information on students or their families. If they are open, ask them to go a step further and introduce a measure of support. Some schools in Los Angeles went as far as pledging to offer legal support to students and families. Ask your principal to offer the same at your school or your child’s school. If you are at a college or university, ask them to declare themselves a sanctuary campus and pledge to not cooperate with ICE or provide information about students’ status. You can tweet your school and your campus president to get the ball rolling.
  3. Understand the rights of immigrants and be an ally when needed. United We Dream, a youth-led advocacy group, encourages people to take pictures and record any potential violations of immigrant rights, including when people are being detained. They recommend you “take notes badge numbers, number of agents, type of cars and note details.” They set up a hotline to report violations. People can call 1-844-363-1423. Read the rest of their guide here.
  4. Find out if your state’s attorney general was part of the proposed lawsuit against DACA. If they were,  find out when they are up for re-election or re-appointment, then hold the attorney generals who supported this lawsuit accountable with your vote.

If you’re A business owner, there’s ways to help.

Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg and major CEO’s have pledged support for DACA recipients. That goes a long way, but small business owners can show their support for all immigrants too.

  1. Businesses are powerful groups, and elected officials pay more attention to them since they are believed to be likely voters. Organize a group of small businesses and write a letter to your member of congress explaining that you support immigrants. Specifically ask them to support the Dream Act and full Comprehensive Immigration reform. This toolkit from the ACLU can get you started. For extra impact, deliver the letter to their local office. Congress is kind of old school so they still value letters and messages. If your elected official isn’t supportive, consider making a donation to or volunteering for someone running against them who is aligned with supporting immigrants. You know, money talks and walks!
  2. If you are creator, select a product from your collection and pledge proceeds to help immigrants. Better yet, create a special edition product in support of immigrants. This is a great way to not only raise money but also raise awareness about the issue. By being open about your support of immigrant communities, you encourage others to do the same.
  3. While we are super supportive of our friends who are DACAmented, we want to support their parents and other immigrants who may also be running their businesses on the streets of our cities. They have dreams of their own! Offer to provide a workshop or training to support them. In New York, The Street Vendor Project advocates and works with street vendors. In Arizona, organizations like The Florence Project provide direct services to immigrants who are detained.
  4. If you provide a service, like therapy or legal assistance, offer your services to an organization like United We Dream. Don’t wait to be asked. Offer your help.

Social Media Influencers can support DACA and all immigrants  as well.

If you have a large social media platform, you have a great opportunity to raise awareness about these issues.

  1. Don’t think you can’t speak up because you aren’t an expert on immigration. Find trusted sources and share them. Encourage your followers to learn more. You can also pitch yourself to be an ambassador for an organization that supports immigrants.
  2. Sharing your own story goes a long way. If you are an immigrant or have an immigrant background, it is of utmost importance that you speak up. Even if your content is lifestyle or fashion-based, you can use your platform to speak on politics and social justice. Even Sophia Amoruso of Girl Boss fame opened up about her Greek immigrant roots. Humanizing this issue goes a long way, particularly for people who may not be as aware of these issues.
  3. If you work with sponsors, take a look at their own policies and beliefs on this issue. Grab Your Wallet has comprehensive list of companies that have pledged to remain inclusive and respect of all people. You can also see organizations that have donated to Trump

Change only happens if those who have power and influence use it to impact opinions of others. Our community needs us so let’s all dig a little deeper to do more!

READ: Thousands Nationwide Protest The End Of DACA And Vow To Defend It

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Joe Biden Promises To Fight For Dreamers If Elected In November

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Joe Biden Promises To Fight For Dreamers If Elected In November

Biden For President / Flickr

An overwhelming majority of Americans support protecting Dreamers. Hundreds of thousands of young adults rely on the protection from deportation and work authorization to live with dignity and out of the shadows. Presidential nominee Joe Biden wants to make sure they stay protected.

Dreamers are looking to a Biden administration to finish what an Obama administration started.

Credit: Biden For President / Flickr

According to the official Biden campaign website, the presidential nominee will work with Congress to reinstate DACA protections and to create a pathway to citizenship. DACA was won by undocumented activists putting fear aside and publicly fought to change the minds of Americans and politicans.

“Undocumented ‘youth’ are no longer youth,” says Moises Serrano, DACA activist and the man profiled in the documentary “Forbidden.” “DACA recipients and undocumented immigrants have been living in fear and instability for decades now. We survived eight years under the Obama administration and four years under the Trump administration. Immigration reform was promised under the Obama-Biden platform; a promise that is still unfulfilled.”

He added: “We hope that President Biden puts an end to the instability in our lives once and for all, or we are ready to hold him accountable in the same way we held Obama accountable in our fight for Administrative Relief.”

Biden’s policy proposes protecting Dreamers and helping them advance in this country.

Credit: Biden For President / Flickr

Biden promises to reinstate DACA to protect Dreamers and will be looking into ways to protect their families. The policy put forth by a potential Biden administration is pivotal in giving those who are DACA recipients a chance to live without fear and with all of the rights as their fellow citizens.

“After living through a deep loss in 2016 after losing my second mother and only being granted access to be on her deathbed in Mexico through my ability to get advanced parole through DACA I learned that no loss would ever be greater than that,” said Cindy Nava, a DACA recipient, political operative and policy advocate. “However, November rolled around and another loss took place. One that impacted my life, that of my family and my community.”

DACA is a very important issue as hundreds of thousands of Dreamers are on the line.

Credit: Biden For President / Flickr

People like Nava are hopeful that a Biden administration will bring that dignity back to the immigrant community. It is a community that is vibrant and has contributed vastly to American culture. A BIden administration would be a chance for Nava to see herself reflected in government.

“I am hopeful to see the daughter of immigrants, a woman of color, and a woman I can finally feel represented by be sworn in as the first woman VP of this country,” Nava says. “I will look forward to an administration that listens to the communities it intends to represent. An administration that empowers the entire country to work with each other to support, strengthen, respect and uplift each other each and every day. An administration that values and is grateful for the contributions that immigrants bring to the foundation of our country each and every day.”

Nava wants to see an immigration reform that puts immigrant humanity at the forefront. One that understands the needs for people to seek refuge and a better life in a foreign country.

“No immigrant seeks to find a fix on a silver platter. Nor do they believe that this will be an easy task,” Nava says. “The only thing our families ask for is a chance. Una oportunidad para recordarle a este pais that their lucha and determination comes from a deep sense of ganas to create a life filled with more opportunities than they ever had.”

The battle over DACA is far from over but it is clear that the Trump administration is on the wrong side of public opinion. Biden’s plan would strengthen DACA and restore the program to its full functionality.

READ: Trump Administration Limit DACA Renewals, Blocks New Applications

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President Trump Falsely Claimed That Covid Is To Blame For Ending DACA

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President Trump Falsely Claimed That Covid Is To Blame For Ending DACA

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

In 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press conference terminating Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on behalf of the Trump administration. Since then hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients have lived in uncertainty. President Donald Trump tried to rewrite history at his town hall event Oct. 15.

President Donald Trump blamed the end of DACA on Covid during his town hall.

The truth is that President Trump’s administration attempted to end DACA in 2017. Former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions was the attorney general at the time and made the announcement in a press conference. Since then, the Trump administration has continued to advance a lawsuit to terminate the program. DACA allows for hundreds of thousands of adults to work and live in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

Long before Covid, the Trump administration was told to resume DACA as intended.

Instead, the Trump administration has violated federal orders and continued to restrict DACA and those who can apply. The Supreme Court refused to hear arguments against DACA meaning that the lower court’s ruling stood. The ruling was that the Trump administration had to reinstate the program in full. However, the Supreme Court did not dismiss the case allowing for the administration to come back.

President Trump also claimed that DACA recipients and Dreamers are not that same.

Another falsehood by the president at the town hall. DACA recipients are indeed Dreamers. The term Dreamers does apply to DACA recipients who would benefit from the DREAM Act. The legislation would legally enshrine the protections of DACA and was introduced by Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois in 2001. Over the course of 19 years, the piece of legislation has not moved despite the overwhelming support from the American public.

People watching the town hall were quick to call out President Trump.

People are not letting President Trump get away with trying to rewrite history about DACA. His administration is the one trying to strip DACA recipients of their protections. At one point, President Trump tried using DACA recipients as political pawns in an attempt to secure funding for his border wall.

Voters are calling on other voters to help protect the program in November.

The two nominees have very different DACA plans. President Trump has and will continue to try to take away the protections from DACA recipients. Former Vice President Joe Biden has a plan to offer citizenship to DACA recipients, something American voters support. DACA is a wildly popular program that gives some of the most vulnerable people in our society a chance to live a normal life.

READ: The Trump Administration Has Officially Rescinded DACA. Here’s What You Need To Know.

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