One of the most important programs created under President Obama was the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program has allowed close to a million immigrants who arrived in the U.S. at a young age to live and work in the U.S. lawfully. It is one of the most celebrated programs under President Obama—and now Trump is dead set on getting rid of it, and then deporting those who have benefited from it. Here is what you need to know about it.
What is DACA?
In 2012, President Obama created the DACA program to grant relief from deportation to individuals who came to the U.S. as children, if they met a number of requirements (like background checks). The Obama Administration recognized that there were millions of undocumented young immigrants who grew up in the U.S., who thought of the U.S. as their home, and who were essentially American in every sense, except on paper. The program has allowed approximately 800,000 young people the opportunity to live and work lawfully in the U.S. It does not provide a path to citizenship.
Obtaining DACA has proven to be transformative. A 2016 study revealed that DACA has improved the lives of its recipients and their families, showing that, among DACA recipients:
- 95% are currently working or in school
- 48% got a job with better working conditions
- 63% got a better paying job
- 90% got a driver’s license or state ID
- 54% bought their first car
- 12% bought their first home
The DACA program is under imminent threat
Although the DACA program has wide-ranging support from elected officials across the political spectrum—including House Speaker Paul Ryan, and even (at times) from Donald Trump, the Trump White House is now standing idly by as a vocal minority of anti-immigrant state officials threatens to unravel the entire program in the courts. Led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, there are 10 states (TX, AL, AR, ID, KS, LA, NE, SC, TN, WV) that are calling for an end to the DACA program. The have given the Trump Administration an ultimatum: get rid of DACA or they will make sure a judge does.
Eliminating DACA would devastate nearly a million people and their families
Removing DACA protections from these hundreds of thousands of young people would turn their lives upside down, and harm the communities where they live, work and study. The only beneficiary would be the for-profit private immigrant detention complex and Trump’s runaway deportation machine, which would embark on a new taxpayer-funded mission to apprehend, process, detain and remove these young people.
What can you do to protect DACAMENTED youth?
Like so many other issues, Congress has the power to remedy this situation. Congress doesn’t have to—and should not—sit on the sidelines. Congress can pass legislation protecting these immigrant youth.
- Call your Senators and tell them to co-sponsor the bipartisan Durbin-Graham “DREAM Act” (S. 1615) to create a legislative fix to the predicament of these young Americans, and take their future out of Trump’s hands.
- Call your House Representative and tell her/him to co-sponsor Rep. Gutierrez’s American Hope Act (H.R. 3591) give those with DACA and others who arrived in the United States as children a path to permanent legal status and eventual citizenship.
Created in partnership with National Immigration Law Center and United We Dream. See more at standup.indivisibleguide.com.
To: Attorneys General and Members of Congress
Keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program!
Campaign created by Adrian Reyna
Members of Congress and Attorneys General,
My name is Adrian Reyna, and I am protected from deportation because of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. My sister has DACA, as well as many of my friends and family members.
Nearly 800,000 people with DACA without the risk of deportation have been able to stay with our families. We provide critical income for our families. We’ve made a living, bought new homes, started new jobs, gave our mothers and fathers the support they’ve given us. You have the power to ensure this doesn’t happen and the program stays in place by speaking up publicly about DACA.
Keeping DACA and protecting immigrants from deportation is important to me because we deserve a life of dignity and respect. Holding up Donald Trump’s promises is an act of hate and strips immigrants from our humanity.
We ask that you publicly defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) from recent attacks with a statement about how it benefits your state.
Why is this important?
This is important, because hundreds of thousands of workers, families, and immigrants depend on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. If enough of us demand that General Kelly take a stance in favor of keeping the program, we can be a step closer to protecting nearly 800,000 people from deportation.