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Hello Teen Resisters! Here at Teens Resist we enjoy the number 7. It's a prime number; the number of Von Trapp children; the number of years post-2000 that Ratatouille came out; number of chakras; number of colors on the ROYGBIV rainbow; and, of course, the number of days in a week.
Which means, the number of days we have until President Trump's deadline for an agreement on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) in Congress.
What is DACA?
You've probably seen A TON of stuff about DACA in your social media feeds, and it's easy to assume a lot of things about it. Here's what it really is: there have been proposals for decades to make laws that would allow people (known as Dreamers) who were brought to the US before their 16th birthdays to have a path to citizenship and keep them safe from deportation.
For these kids, the United States is the only home they've ever known. They've grown up here, gone to school here, and know nothing of the countries they were born in. As far as immigration laws go, this is one that many can agree on. Even hard-line anti-immigration congresspeople can agree that these kids deserve an opportunity like this, and more liberal congresspeople see it as a first step in immigration reform that could also affect the children's deserving parents. 70% of Americans support it.
Specifically, the Obama-era DACA ruling allowed Dreamers to "come out of the shadows" (CNN) and obtain driver's licenses, get jobs and go to college. They also pay income tax. They didn't have to worry about deportation. This program lasted two years, and then people could apply for renewal. Unfortunately, the law did not really provide a path to citizenship; just deferral, an aspect that drew criticism from the left, arguing it left Dreamers "in limbo."
What did Trump Do about it?
Starting in September, Trump phased out DACA, allowing applicants to apply one last time for renewal. He then proposed a bipartisan bill that allowed a number of DACA recipients to keep receiving benefits, but cut programs to allow family members to sponsor each other and demanded a budget for a border wall and other programs. Democrats in Congress rejected it and Trump set a March 5th deadline for them to come to an agreement. If they don't do so by the 5th, ALL OF THE BENEFITS DACA RECIPIENTS RECEIVE will no longer apply and they will be left in a state of fear of deportation back to countries they barely know. There is also concern that, since DACA recipients' info is in government files, ICE will have access to it and they will be even more at risk for deportation.
FACT: each day that congress fails to pass a clean dream act, 122 dreamers lose their daca rights.
Is there hope?
Even before Trump announced the deadline, there was discussion of a bipartisan, clean Dream Act that would be a chance to take it from the beginning. As of TODAY (2/26), the Supreme Court has ruled to keep DACA alive for now while Congress works on the new decision. This is HUGE and means that Dreamers won't be immediately stripped of their rights. Dreamers can apply to renew their DACA, but new recipients cannot apply. But that doesn't mean that pressure isn't still direly needed on Congress to get a Dream Act NOW!
MORE INFO: Click here.
WHAT CAN I DO?
CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSPEOPLE: You guys. This is the #1 thing to do for this issue. They need to hear that people are concerned. Tweet them, write letters (this one is particularly great) and call them. Call 478-488-8059. Just tell them that you're demanding a clean Dream Act now and want them to fight as hard as they can to make it happen. This helps with all congresspeople: Dem and Republican.
TEXT HERETOSTAY TO 877877
SIGN THIS PETITION HERE. (less than 1 min)
Check out organizations like United We Dream, Make the Road, National Immigrant Law Center, and more, to find resources and ways to help.
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