For months, uncertainty dominated the lives of more than 800,000 young people across the country, as the Trump administration mulled over the future of the DACA program. Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), which opened many unprecedented doors for undocumented young people.
The program, started by the Obama Administration in 2012, shielded young immigrants from deportation, allowed them to work, obtain a driver’s license, and more easily afford college. Without DACA these protections will vanish, upending the lives of young people that built a career, family, and life since the program went into effect.
Trump has ended DACA. What now?
DACA recipients also called “Dreamers” coined after the original proposed legislation entitled the Dream Act could begin losing permits as early as March 6, 2018 and furthermore be at risk of deportation.
Now that Trump has decided to end DACA, the responsibility rests on Congress to protect Dreamers. Members of congress have six months to pass legislation to bring back DACA protections for Dreamers. If congress were not to act, DACA would slowly expire, and nearly 300,000 young people would lose their status in 2018, and more than 320,000 would lose their status by August 2019.
Young immigrants need a permanent path to citizenship. There are currently numerous bills in the House and Senate that aid undocumented young people. Most notably, the Dream Act of 2017, would grant immediate protection to the immigrants currently protected under DACA, allow them to work legally, and permit them to travel outside the country.
It’s up to us to hold Congress accountable to ensure it acts to not only protect dreamers immediately, but also provide them with a permanent path to legal status.
What can I do?
- Raise your voice. Let the administration hear our collective outrage for putting immigrant youth at risk. Use the hashtags #DreamAct #HereToStay. Use these sample tweets: The decision to end #DACA puts young immigrant youth at risk. We need to pass the #DreamAct NOW. #HereToStayThe #DACA repeal upholds the administration’s white nationalist agenda. We need to protect immigrant youth TODAY. #DreamAct #HereToStay
- Call on Congress. The Dream Act of 2017 is currently on the table in the senate. Call on your representatives to pass the bill.
- Join actions across the country. Organize your community and join a protest. They are happening across the country. Find them here.
- Support Dreamers in your community. It’s a scary place to be uncertain about your future in a place you call home. Make sure to provide support and be a vocal Ally in your community, they need us!
- Ask other to speak out. Ask your local government, or your school’s administration to issue statements in support of protecting immigrant youth. Here are some helpful talking points.
Today, Trump ended DACA, one of the cruelest decisions in modern history.
The White House will try to frame their decision as a compromise and talk about a “six month” delay but there is no doubt Trump is ending DACA because they say so in their memo – “Acting Secretary Elaine Duke today issued a memo formally rescinding the June 15, 2012 memorandum that created DACA.”
Republicans in Congress need to bring the Dream Act to the floor right now. No trades. No holding Dreamers as hostages for ridiculous border measures. Your party broke it; you fix it.