Immigration

Dreamers are the American Dream

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has proven to be an unqualified success, providing new opportunities and futures for nearly 800,000 Dreamers who live, study and work in the United States. They contribute to their families, communities, and to the country that is their home. These are their stories. This is their voice.

DACA VICTORY & RESOURCES

The US Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is a stinging rebuke of the Trump administration’s ill-conceived attempt to end DACA, deeming it “arbitrary and capricious.”  

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Several hundred thousand undocumented immigrants were thrown into limbo when the Trump administration rescinded DACA in September 2017. The actions of the Trump Administration to end DACA threatened to irreparably harm students, educators and school systems across the nation.

Below are additional links to resources on DACA updates, tips for renewing DACA, FAQs and where to find local assistance for help in filing renewals.

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Supreme Court Rejects Trump’s Elimination of DACA

June 18, 2020
By Mary Ellen Flannery

When Angelica Reyes said good-bye to her students on Monday, the start of summer break in her Los Angeles school district, she didn’t know whether she’d be seeing them again this fall, or facing possible deportation.

Reyes, who has lived in Los Angeles since her parents brought her there from Mexico at the age of 9 months, is one of about 650,000 Americans, including nearly 15,000 educators, who currently rely on a federal program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, to provide them with renewable work permits and protection from deportation. Basically, the program enables them to live their lives outside of the shadows.

But, in 2017, the Trump administration abruptly ended DACA. Since then, DACA holders have lived in limbo while advocates — including NEA’s Office of General Counsel — have fought all the way to the Supreme Court.

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COVID-19 & Immigrant Communities: Your Questions Answered

Every significant immigration issue that might affect students or educators, from DACA renewals to federal support of immigrant workers and their families, is impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, more than 200,000 DACA recipients – including nearly 15,000 educators and 29,000 health care workers – are working to protect our health and safety, ship critical products, staff grocery stores and ensure children are still being educated.

As the federal government and states come together to protect all communities struggling with the pandemic, smart public health and immigration policy responses are critical. Below are some key questions and answers about how COVID-19 is impacting students, educators, and our schools, as well as links to additional information and resources.

 

Looming court decision on DACA leaves educators, students fearful

By Félix Pérez
Speaking on the marble steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, Karina Alvarez bore down against the on-again, off-again snow and rain on a raw November morning. It was as if the San Antonio, Texas, elementary school teacher, using a firm and measured delivery, wanted the nine justices hearing arguments inside the court to hear her every word.

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Her goal: Put a face on the students and families in her community whose fate hinges on the decision the court will render on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program that temporarily shields hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation and provides them a work permit. The DACA recipients are required to have come to the United States when they were children, and for many, this country is the only one they’ve ever known.

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Hugo

In high school, I won an academic college scholarship, but when I couldn’t supply a Social Security number I couldn’t get it. Instead I ended up working after graduation with my dad — he does flooring and carpeting work.

After six years, I’m finishing my associate’s degree in computer information systems this December. For the past three years, I also have been working at Metro Tech High School in Phoenix, currently as a campus lab technician.

The majority of my time is spent figuring out why some computers are failing. It’s a daily reminder of how much technology plays a role in classrooms every day. But my passion is advocacy and outreach — I feel like there’s a million things that people can do as far as helping students, or helping educators, when it comes to social justice.

Here at Metro, we have about 2,000 students, of which about 200 are DACA recipients. They all know how to reach me.

Karen

I’m going into my fourth year of teaching 3- and 4-year-olds who are Deaf or hard of hearing. I love it! I get to help students who have zero language, or very limited language, to connect with the world. We just throw so many activities and experiences at them.

Last year, I had this one student who came into my classroom with two words. Toward the end of the year, he was looking over my shoulder at a photograph and he said, ‘Oh Reyes, who that? That’s Julian’s mommy? I like her!’ It was amazing!

Before DACA, I couldn’t teach. But I could volunteer, and I did. I volunteered everywhere — reading initiatives, communities in school programs. At the same time, I applied for a master’s degree in Deaf education and got accepted.

Knowing that DACA is going away, these past few weeks have been a pretty emotional time. I know that, no matter what, I can survive. I’m a teacher, and all I want to do is teach and help my kids.

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Defend the Future of Dreamers

Sign the pledge and join the effort to defend Dreamers—at the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, the White House, the halls of Congress, and in our communities.

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Resources

 

DACA Renewal

This collection of resources and links provides information on DACA updates, tips for renewing DACA status, FAQs and advice on finding local assistance for help in filing renewals.

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Supporting Our Youth

This PowerPoint training provides educators with tips on how to ensure colleagues, students, and communities have the info and resources they need to support immigrant students & their families.

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DACA Slide Slow

"DACA Renewal: What's Next for You?" is a short slide show that provides information and guidance on renewing your DACA status.

View the slide show