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.  

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  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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Alejandro Mayorkas Is The First Latino And Immigrant To Be Named Secretary Of The Department Of Homeland Security

Things That Matter

Alejandro Mayorkas Is The First Latino And Immigrant To Be Named Secretary Of The Department Of Homeland Security

Alejandro Mayorkas is the first Latino and the first immigrant to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Mayorkas is Cuban-born and was one of the original architects of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Alejandro Mayorkas is the first Latino and immigrant to be confirmed as the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Secretary Mayorkas is inheriting a Trump-era DHS and is immediately getting to work to rectify issues that the Biden administration has highlighted. Two of the most pressing issues are heading up a task force to reunite migrant families who were separated by the previous administration and reviewing the “Remain in Mexico” policy.

“Remain in Mexico” is a policy that the Trump administration created and enforced that sent migrants to Mexico to await their asylum cases. The policy has been criticized both by U.S. and international politicians as a humanitarian issue.

It isn’t Mayorkas’ first time working for DHS.

Sec. Mayorkas was the deputy secretary of DHS from December 2013 – October 2016 under President Barack Obama. During that time, Mayorkas was crucial in responding to the 2013 – 14 Ebola virus epidemic and 2015 – 16 Zika virus epidemic. Mayorkas is ready to come back to the department and to bring back what he sees are the department’s mission.

“DHS bears an extraordinary weight on behalf of the American people, the weight of grave challenges seen and unseen,” Sec. Mayorkas said in a statement. “It is the greatest privilege of my life to return to the Department to lead the men and women who dedicate their talent and energy to the safety and security of our nation. I will work every day to ensure that they have the tools they need to execute their missions with honor and integrity. The mission of the Department of Homeland Security is to safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values. The United States is a welcoming and empathetic nation, one that finds strength in its diversity. I pledge to defend and secure our country without sacrificing these American values.”

Mayorkas is no stranger to working on America’s immigration system.

Mayorkas is one of the original architects of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which is at stake because of the previous administration. The Biden administration has made a promise to preserve DACA and to create a pathway to citizenship to the 11 million undocumented people living in the U.S.

President Biden has introduced legislation to reform the current immigration system. The legislation has a timeframe for all undocumented people in the U.S. to become citizens if they follow certains steps and meet certain criteria.

While Mayorkas got bipartisan support in the Senate confirmation, some Republicans did not like his work in immigration. Sen. Marco Rubio, a fellow Cuban, voted to opposed Mayorkas.

“Not only has Mayorkas pledged to undo the sensible protections put in place by the Trump Administration that ended the dangerous policy of catch and release, but his nomination is further evidence that the Biden Administration intends to pursue a radical immigration agenda,” Sen. Rubio said in a statement.

READ: President Biden Introduces Legislation To Create Pathway To Citizenship For 11 Million Undocumented People

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Here Are The Executive Actions That President Biden Has Signed Since Taking Office Last Week

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Here Are The Executive Actions That President Biden Has Signed Since Taking Office Last Week

President Joe Biden has a lot of work ahead of him to dismantle some of former President Trump’s damaging orders. There are racist travel bans, necessarily harmful family separation policies, and the climate crisis all on the table that must be addressed. President Biden is doing just that and here are some of the orders he has signed to tackle the issues.

So far, President Biden has signed 40 executive orders that have reversed some of the worst Trump-era policies and regulations.

Update January 27, 2021

President Biden has signed multiple executive orders tackling different parts of the Covid-19 response.

Americans have been struggling to control the pandemic with minimal leadership from the federal government for almost a year. Local, county, and state governments have done their best without a unified federal response. President Biden, who inherited the mess from the previous administration, is tackling the pandemic headon.

President Biden spent his second day signing several Covid executive orders, which include:

  • Promoting Covid-19 safety in domestic and international travel.
  • Expanding access to Covid-19 treatments.
  • Promoting data-driven response to Covid-19.
  • Supporting states’ use of National Guard in Covid-19 response.
  • Strengthening public health supply chain.
  • Establishing the Covid-19 Health Equity Task Force.
  • Supporting the reopening and continuing operation of schools.
  • Promoting workplace safety amid the pandemic.
  • Establishing a Covid-19 pandemic testing board.

On his third day in office, President Biden focused on benefits for the American people.

Covid-19 has decimated the workforce and people are struggling to make ends meet. Evictions are looming nationwide as people have gone months with no assistance from the federal government, a stark contrast from the rest of the developed world.

President Biden is working to undo the issues that have stood in the way of American people getting their assistance with executive orders including:

  • Expanding food assistance programs.
  • Assisting veterans with debt.
  • Guaranteeing unemployment insurance for workers who refuse work due to Covid-19.
  • Establishing “benefit delivery teams.”
  • Facilitating the delivery of stimulus payments.
  • Address Covid-19 economic relief.
  • Empowering federal workers and contractors.

The president signed other orders on the sixth and seventh days of his administration tackling myriad issues.

President Biden promised the American people that he would work quickly to undo the damage created by the last four years. It is a promise that he has made good on. He has tackled several societal issues that has hindered Americans from living free and full lives.

President Biden’s executive actions here included:

  • Reversing the transgender military ban.
  • Reinstating Covid-19 travel restrictions.
  • Promoting the ‘Buy American’ agenda.
  • Calling for the evaluation of Trump’s housing policies.
  • Ending the reliance on private prisons.
  • Reaffirming the commitment to tribal sovereignty.
  • Denouncing anti-Asian discrimination and xenophobia.

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The border wall on the southern border is done, y’all.

President Biden is saving the taxpayers billions of dollars by halting the construction of President Trump’s border wall. The border wall is one of former President Trump’s several unfulfilled promises at the expense of the taxpayers.

Despite his unrelenting campaign, Mexico never paid a dime to the wall. President Biden’s action to halt the border wall is a humanitarian and conservationist move that will save billions of tax dollars. According to estimates, there would be $3.3 billion in unused funds in the projects accounts.

The emotionally devastating Muslim ban will finally come to an end.

Former President Trump famously put an end to travel from predominantly Muslim countries. The order arbitrarily excluded a group of people based on their religion. The order that has kept families apart for years is finally coming to an end thanks to President Biden.

President Biden’s ation will bring families together and safeguards the rights of religious freedom. The ban has kept spouses separated, children apart from parents, and caused real damage. There is more to be done to make up for the stain on American history and the action is the first step.

The Keystone XL Pipeline is toast.

We all remember the terrifying scenes of Native people being brutalized by federal officials under Trump’s command. President Biden will make sure that the permit for the pipeline is revoked and put an end to a project that has been devastating the Native community. Activists have been fighting for years to get this done.

Undocumented people will have to be included in census counts.

President Biden is getting rid of the Trump administration’s terrible policy of ignoring undocumented people in the census. There have been several arguments by officials that the move would work to undermine certain states. The policy would take federal money away from states that did not support the former president and have high undocumented populations.

President Biden is going to preserve DACA.

More than 600,000 people benefit from the Obama-era program. Former President Trump waged a war against DACA and Dreamers for political points. Most Americans support DACA and a pathway to citizenship for DACA beneficiaries. With the new executive action, President Biden will instruct the federal government to restore the program to its fullest.

There is still a lawsuit the Biden administration will have to fight. The lawsuit challenging DACA’s legality was filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

In total, President Biden will sign 17 executive actions that will roll back several issues created by the previous administration.

“Today, hours after taking the oath of office, President-elect Biden will take a historic number of actions to deliver immediate relief for families across America that are struggling in the face of converging crises. He will sign a combination of executive orders, memoranda, directives, and letters to take initial steps to address these crises, including by changing the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing economic relief, tackling climate change, and advancing racial equity,” reads a statement from the Biden-Harris Transition Team. “President-elect Biden will take action — not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration — but also to start moving our country forward. These actions are bold, begin the work of following through on President-elect Biden’s promises to the American people, and, importantly, fall within the constitutional role for the president.”

READ: President Joe Biden’s And Vice President Kamala Harris’ Inauguration Represented America

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