Today brings more voices reminding us why the DACA program works and additional reminders that providing protections and opportunities for Dreamers benefits America. Among the developments:
Faith in Public Life released a letter signed by 1,300 Catholic educators, representing Catholic institutions ranging from kindergarten through college level, issued a moral mandate calling on President Trump to preserve DACA. The letter states: “We stand with our students who are DACA beneficiaries. Their perseverance, hard work and hopefulness is an example to us as teachers. We witness the obstacles they overcome each day as they pursue their dream of a better life for themselves and their families. In facing adversity and uncertainty with grace and hope, they embody the best of our schools, our country and the Catholic tradition. It is a moral and policy failure when our government targets children and young adults who simply aspire to live the American dream. Breaking up families and communities undermines the best values of our nation.”
In the Washington Post, Paul Waldman highlights the takeaways from the largest ever survey of DACA recipients, published yesterday by Dr. Tom Wong, the Center for American Progress, United We Dream, and the National Immigration Law Center. After recapping the findings, which demonstrate how DACA has benefited recipients and the country as a whole, Waldman quotes UWD Executive Director Cristina Jimenez, saying: “For us, this survey tells the story of immigrant youth like my brother who have gotten work, gone to school, supported their families and built their lives over the last five years. Keeping DACA should be a no-brainer, but instead white supremacists in the White House and in a few state capitals are unnecessarily putting all this progress at risk.”
A new Medium piece by Diana, Dreamer and Youth Power Project Member of Make the Road New York, beautifully articulates what DACA means to her, and hundreds of thousands of others. Diana writes, “Once again, I am reminded that when you are undocumented there is no such thing as consistency. That you must remain awake, even when you are asleep. We are in a time in which we are uncertain of DACA’s future, whether it’ll be taken away from us tomorrow, next week or not at all. I think of those families whose food on the table depends on the future of DACA. I think of the families who will be separated or who will struggle financially without it. I think of those students who are so close to finishing their dream careers. I think of those undocumented people who are going back in the shadows because of fear of deportation. I think of their journey to self-liberation and what will mean for each and one of them moving forward.”
A HuffPost reflection from DACA recipient Pierre R. Berastaín is another powerful testimonial to the benefits of DACA for America. The piece concludes:
I urge the President to protect those of us who came as children and have “proven” ourselves over the decades. It’s the right thing to do, not because those 800,000 of us with DACA will contribute $433.4 billion in GDP over the next decade; or because we fight in the military, work as doctors, and teach elementary school children, but because it’s who we are as a nation. We don’t shatter 800,000 dreams for political gains. We aspire to improve the collective American wellbeing by welcoming those who make our country a better place. At least, that’s the America I learned to call home.
Dreamer Dinners continue to thrive in communities across America: Following earlier Dreamer Dinners in Columbus, OH; Miami, FL; San Antonio, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Tallahassee, FL, upcoming dinners will be held in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and Fort Worth, TX.
At Daily Kos, Gabe Ortiz highlights the “open letter” from Juan Escalante, with Ortiz capturing that:
DACA has helped 800,000 undocumented youth achieve their dreams. Because of DACA, immigrant youth may work legally, apply for driver’s licenses, and live free from the fear of deportation. In other words: they can live normal lives. They are parents, neighbors, friends, leaders, professionals, and spouses. They are American in every single way but for a piece of paper. So when the Trump administration threatens to kill the program, the government is threatening to cast away young people deeply intertwined into the fabric of America.