After long anticipation, President Donald Trump has announced the repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, placing the impetus to replace it by March 5, 2018. DACA was an executive order issued by former President Barack Obama in 2012, which has since supported 800,000 undocumented youth who were brought to the United States without documentation as children an opportunity to 1. work legally in the United States, and 2. remain in the United States without fear of immediate deportation. In essence, it’s a form of administration relief from deportation that you have to apply for every two years. Since Trump’s inauguration, more than 200,000 people have submitted applications sign-up for DACA, with more than 8,000 applications for renewal being submitted every week.
DACA came about after years of activism on on behalf of the “Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors” Act, or the DREAM Act, which was never supported enough to pass in Congress and become law, leaving what eventually evolved into an executive order vulnerable to exactly what has taken place in the White House today. Read Attorney General’s Jeff Sessions letter advising the end of DACA, calling it unconstitutional, here.
This is in contrast to research indicating that two-thirds of Americans want a path for legal citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented people living, working, studying and paying taxes (upwards of $1.2 million) in the United States.
The battle for the DREAM Act started in 2001, when it was originally introduced to Congress by Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois. Since then, there has not been adequate bipartisan support for the young people and families that the law would directly affect, which highlights serious speculation at the thought of Congress having the responsibility to replace DACA by next Spring. This is in contrast to research indicating that two-thirds of Americans want a path for legal citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented people living, working, studying and paying taxes (upwards of $1.2 million) in the United States.
In response, Barack Obama wrote “…this is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated. It’s about who we are as a people – and who we want to be.” Read his full statement on the repeal here. Still, the Obama administration’s dedication to undocumented communities harbors a violent legacy that was responsible for deporting as many as 34,000 immigrants per month, a higher rate of deportation than Trump’s anti-immigrant policy, to date.
Both perpetuate racist narratives of his support base, rendering communities targeted by an insurge of hate crimes and social vulnerabilities, and neither fully captures the full breadth of young people who are threatened by the repeal of DACA.
Trump’s sensational coverage of immigration boils down to preserving the white-dominated nation of his constituency. While he paints the issue of immigration as central to the nation’s view on Islam and Muslims preventable by the Muslim Ban, he paints the issue of undocumented immigration as a Mexican issue preventable by a wall. Both perpetuate racist narratives of his support base, rendering communities targeted by an insurge of hate crimes and social vulnerabilities, and neither fully captures the full breadth of young people who are threatened by the repeal of DACA, including some of our very own Muslim Girl writers.
Here are some of the faces of the 800,000 DACA recipients, and how this order affects them:
If you are a DACA recipient here is what you should know:
- DACA and work permits will remain valid until the printed expiration date.
- No new DACA applications will be accepted after Sept. 5, 2017.
- DACA and work permits that expire between now and March 5, 2018 can be submitted for renewal by Oct. 5, 2017.
- Even when your DACA or work permit expire, your Social Security Number is yours for life. You can continue to use it for education, banking, housing and other purposes
- No more advance parole to travel abroad.If you are outside of the country with advance parole, return immediately.
- Depending on the state you reside in, you are still eligible for a Driver’s License or another state issued identification card. If you do not have one, apply for one immediately.
- Regardless of your legal status, you have rights! Know your rights, you CAN remain silent if you are stopped or questioned by ICE.
- Avoid contact with law enforcement authorities, and if you are arrested be prepared to consult expert immigration attorneys. Find a low-cost immigration legal services here.
- In Spanish.
If you want to show your support, here are some ways that you can support DACA recipients right now:
- Check-in on your DACAmented friends. They know more about this than you, trust me you don’t need to perpetually share articles about their lives with them. Instead, you can listen, show them some love and distract them from the emotional rollercoaster that is DACA, and show up for them and the entire community.
- Thousands of people are going to rush to renew their DACA applications in the next month (before the Oct. 5 deadline), each application costs $495 – put your money where your mouth is: Donate here.
- Educate yourself by checking out some of the websites listed below.
- Here are some scripts for writing your Congressman or Trump. Pressure on your representatives is CRITICAL now more than ever as the burden of legislation is now on Congress.
For the most accurate and up to date reports on DACA and other immigration related issues, follow reputable resources:
- United We Dream
- Informed Immigrant
- Immigrant Legal Resource Center
- National Immigration Law Center
- We Are Here to Stay
The information provided in this article is accurate up to date published. For up to date information, please refer to the websites linked above. Do NOT disseminate out of date information, as it might be harmful to DACA recipients.