After a weekend of speculation that the White House would end Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA), the Trump administration made it official, formally announcing the end of DACA on Tuesday. For the estimated 800,000 DACA recipients (Dreamers), this is no doubt a gut-wrenching blow from the country so many of them consider home. Under Trump’s plan he’s doing an “orderly wind down,” giving DACA protections six months before they expire – placing the responsibility on Congress to come up with a long term solution. DACA will not end for every Dreamer at the same time (some may be covered until 2020), and if you are a DACA recipient, it’s important that you contact a professional who can help you figure out what this decision means for you and what your rights are in this uncertain time.
For the allies – now it’s more important than ever for us to stand with the Dreamers. Here are five ways you can offer your support.
Rally your representatives in Congress and the Senate.
Add your name to urge GOP leadership in the Senate and House to hold a vote on the DREAM Act: https://t.co/BrZqFVJoLG
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 5, 2017
There is currently a bill that has been introduced in the House and the Senate known as the Dream Act that would offer legal status for many undocumented individuals who were brought to the U.S. as children. Call your reps to let them know that the Dream Act must come up for a vote. They have a full session this fall, but this should and must remain a priority.
Make sure that any Dreamers you know have all the information they need. The terms for which DACA ends varies for each person. Stay armed with accurate facts and help stop the spread of false information.
Use the power of social media.
With this president, it’s clear that we’re living in an age where social media is king – for better or worse. As suggested by the Women’s March organizers, tweet at key members of Congress and demand they publicly support DACA. Make sure our political leaders know our anger and that we expect action.
Stop and listen.
If you’re a mental health professional, consider donating your time and services to DACA recipients. A study by United We Dream found that DACA recipients experienced improvements in their mental health versus those who were not eligible for the benefits. Many of these individuals are now faced with the chance that their life can change dramatically, they need access to any and all necessary mental healthcare.
Tell the White House how you feel.
Let’s flood the White House with notes of frustration, disappointment, and the need for this administration to stop targeting the most vulnerable among us. Contact the White House here. If you’re not sure what to say, the Huffington Post has a great pre-written statement that you can work off of.
As an American citizen, I am appalled by your decision to terminate protections for 800,000 DACA beneficiaries who pay taxes, attend our colleges and universities, and contribute to our communities as doctors, lawyers, teachers, social workers and business owners. Your decision could reduce the U.S. GDP by more than $400 billion over the next decade. I urge you to work with Congress to pass a legislative solution that will ensure the protection of those affected by your decision to terminate DACA.”
Trump may think that by putting the pressure on Congress, he’s gotten off scot-free, but his cooperation is crucial at a time like this – the lives of so many depend on it.