Casa de Esperanza is committed to policies that strengthen families and communities and, like others across the country, we are alarmed by the President’s decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program.
Over the course of the past five years, DACA has enabled young immigrants in this country the opportunity to pursue higher education, obtain work authorization, start small businesses, serve in the military, and make significant contributions to their communities. DACA beneficiaries, brought to the U.S. as children, are a testament to what it means for people to fulfill the American Dream. Nonetheless, this current administration has decided to stop protecting 800,000 young immigrants, denying them the opportunity to continue pursuing their dreams and contributing to our communities. Numerous studies have highlighted the economic and social contributions that DACA recipients have made to our nation. We know that businesses and non-profit organizations like ours employ DACA recipients. We know that we may owe our children’s education to a DACA teacher, our community’s health to a DACA doctor, and our ability to respond to natural disasters to DACA rescuers who also risk their lives for the welfare of other Americans (as witnessed recently in Houston, where a DACA recipient died while helping others in floodwaters). Our organizations, businesses and communities will work to ensure they stay in this country where they belong. The President’s decision goes against the spirit of who we are as a nation, and Congress must pass immigration reform that will protect 800,000 dreams from being shattered.
“Now, more than ever, we must all ensure that DACA recipients—DREAMers— know that we stand with them, that their hopes, dreams and contributions to family, community, and this country, matter,” said Patricia Tototzintle, CEO of Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network. “Our young people should not have to live in fear and without the ability to develop their potential; our country is better than this.”
We would be remiss if we did not also recognize the importance of immigration reform for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Casa de Esperanza has seen firsthand in our work with survivors how providing individuals with an opportunity to obtain legal immigration status, through DACA or through VAWA immigration remedies, also reduces the vulnerability of immigrants to abuse and exploitation, whether in the workplace or in the home. Legal immigration status increases immigrant survivors’ economic security, helps them support their families, and provides a pathway to healing and well-being.
If the DACA program is allowed to expire six months from now without any legislative solution, it is estimated that over 1,400 young people will lose their legal status every day for the next two years. It is more urgent than ever to come together and lift our voices to urge members of Congress to pass bipartisan legislation, such as the Dream Act of 2017, to provide a legislative solution to this crisis. Congress also needs to work in a bipartisan manner and find more comprehensive solutions to fix the current broken immigration system and strengthen the fabric of this nation.
To learn how you can access additional information and lift up your voice, see the list of resources below.
Information about DACA’s rescission in Spanish (distributed by ASISTA): https://t.co/bs8ehbKkPT
NLN: Testimonies about the benefits of DACA to survivors of DV/SA https://enblog.nationallatinonetwork.org/testimonies-field-benefits-daca-survivors-domestic-sexual-violence/
From the ILRC: What do I need to know about the end of DACA? (updated Sept. 5, 2017) https://www.ilrc.org/what-do-i-need-know-about-end-daca-community-advisory-september-5-2017
From United We Dream: 5 Things to Know about the announcement to end DACA https://twitter.com/UNITEDWEDREAM/status/905103432037654528
DACA has ended; here’s what you can do now http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/daca-has-ended-you-are-outraged-heres-what-you-can_us_59ae4bd7e4b0c50640cd619e
NTF Lists Action Steps to Defend DACA https://www.nationallatinonetwork.org/images/NTF_Statement_and_Alert_on_DACA_Final.pdf