Things That Matter

DACA Has Made It Possible For 800k Young People To Work Legally In America. Today People Fight To Protect It.

Chants of “one people, one nation, end immigration” were heard loud and clear during the Charlottesville white supremacy march this past weekend. These anti-immigrant chants are more than dangerous words – they are the sentiment powering the threat to hundreds of thousands of young immigrants.

DACA has made it possible for 800,000 young people to work legally in the U.S. It has made them feel safer in a country they consider home by protecting them from deportation.

CREDIT: Julissa Arce

That’s all DACA is. It’s not amnesty, it’s not a path to citizenship; it’s a work permit and protection from deportation.

Like me, many of these young people came to the U.S. as children and have thrived despite the many obstacles they have faced. I came to the U.S from Mexico with a tourist visa when I was 11 years old to be reunited with my parents.

I found out I was undocumented after I bugged my mom about having my quinceañera in Mexico. She revealed that my visa had expired and I could no longer travel outside of the U.S.  I was crushed thinking I would never be able to go to college, work or achieve the American dream.

But Texas gave me the opportunity of a lifetime in 2001 when it became the first state in the U.S to allow undocumented students to attend college and pay in-state tuition. But now, my home state of Texas is threatening to take away the opportunity of the American Dream for DACA recipients. Texas attorney general Ken Paxton is calling on other states to demand the Trump administration to terminate the DACA program by September 5th.

We cannot allow the lives of these young Americans to be threatened, and the chants of white supremacists to thrive. DACA has changed the lives of many of these young people; in the same way Texas changed my life in 2001.

CREDIT: Julissa Arce

DACA has given recipients the opportunity to go to college, obtain better paying jobs, buy cars and even homes. I went on to graduate from the University of Texas at Austin with honors and became a vice-president at Goldman Sachs. I never had a quinceañera but I was able to have a double-quince in Japan.

DACA is not only good for the immigrant community, it is good for America. Ending DACA would reduce our GDP by $433 billion over the next decade and cost employers $3.4 billion in costs associated with the termination and replacement of employees. Without DACA, tax revenue would be seriously impacted. Over the next decade, $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare contributions would be lost.

The anti-immigrant chants of “you will not replace us, end immigration,” are in direct opposition to the words of the judge who presided over my naturalization ceremony in August of 2008. He said, “becoming an American Citizen means accepting the world as your nation.”  

Today marks the fifth anniversary of DACA, and more than ever we need to drown the chants and the threats, and protect the lives of the 800,000 people who have called America home since they were children.  


READ: People Are Showing The Country What They’ve Been Able To Do #WithDACA

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Here Are The Executive Actions That President Biden Is Signing His First Day In Office

Things That Matter

Here Are The Executive Actions That President Biden Is Signing His First Day In Office

Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool / Getty Images

President Joe Biden has a lot of work ahead of him and he is hitting the ground running. On his first day in office, President Biden has a series of executive actions he is signing to reverse a lot of the damage created by the Trump administration. Here are some of the things President Biden will do with these actions.

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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Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

Things That Matter

Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP via Getty Images

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is not a contentious topic among Americans. The program offers young adults who entered the U.S. as children relief from deportation and a chance to live out of the shadows. Now that it has been reinstated, Google wants to help some people achieve the dream of being a DACA recipient.

Google is pledging a quarter of a million dollars to help people apply for DACA.

The Trump administration did everything in their power to end DACA. The constant uncertainty has left hundreds of thousands of young people in limbo. The war waged against Dreamers by the Trump administration came to a temporary end when a federal judge ruled that Chad Wolf was illegally installed as the head of the Department of Homeland Security. It invalidated a member from Wolf stating that no new DACA applications would be approved.

Kent Walker, the SVP of Global Affairs, laid out the case for DACA in an essay.

Walker discusses the uncertainty the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients currently face after the tumultuous time for the program. He also touches on the economic hardships that has befallen so many because of the pandemic. With so many people out of work, some Dreamers do not have the money to apply or renew their DACA due to a lack of financial resources. For that reason, Google is getting involved.

“We want to do our part, so Google.org is making a $250,000 grant to United We Dream to cover the DACA application fees of over 500 Dreamers,” writes Walker. “This grant builds on over $35 million in support that Google.org and Google employees have contributed over the years to support immigrants and refugees worldwide, including more than $1 million from Googlers and Google.org specifically supporting DACA and domestic immigration efforts through employee giving campaigns led by HOLA (Google’s Latino Employee Resource Group).”

People are celebrating Google for their decision but are calling on Congress to do more.

Congress will ultimately have to decide on what to do for the Dreamers. There has been growing pressure from both sides of the aisle calling on Congress to work towards granting them citizenship. DACA is a risk of being dismantled at any moment. It is up to Congress to come through and deliver a bill to fix the issue once and for all.

“We know this is only a temporary solution. We need legislation that not only protects Dreamers, but also delivers other much-needed reforms,” writes Walker. “We will support efforts by the new Congress and incoming Administration to pass comprehensive immigration reform that improves employment-based visa programs that enhance American competitiveness, gives greater assurance to immigrant workers and employers, and promotes better and more humane immigration processing and border security practices.”

READ: New DACA Applications Were Processed At The End Of 2020 For The First Time In Years

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