DREAMers Called Back Into Action
Caving to demands from the Governor of Texas and attorneys general from nine states, President Donald Trump ordered an end to a program offering essential protections for migrant children, then later called on congress to pass immigration legislation to replace it, leaving the future of 800,000 childhood arrivals shrouded in confusion. Legislators have six months before the program phases out.
In a recent article on FronteraFund.org, Carmen Carnejo makes a rallying cry of her own, calling on immigrants and allies to fight these alarming developments by “organizing with the same fervor as we did in 2012,” referring to the DREAMer movement that culminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program implemented by the Obama Administration via executive order.
As its name suggests, DACA is a renewable deferral program that protects certain undocumented residents from deportation, as long as they arrived as a minor, received a high school education, and meet a few other criteria. Recipients are provided a social security number and work permit, and, in most states, may acquire a driver’s license and access in-state-tuition fees.
Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin of the Frontera Fund are on the front lines of immigration rights in the border state of Arizona, and will provide their guidance and assistance in the fight to preserve DACA. The Frontera Fund was founded to benefit Arizona’s embattled Hispanic community, and distributes grants to worthy nonprofit groups that advocate for Hispanic civil rights.
Despite repeated defeats in Congress, there is bipartisan support for legislation reform, including protection for DREAMers; in its five years of implementation, DACA beneficiaries have contributed millions to the US economy through higher education, business ownership, and taxable income. The Frontera Fund, along with nonprofits and activists across the country, will continue to fight for a permanent DREAM Act legislation.