Day 5: Learn about the DREAMers

The Dreamers stood up, registered, got counted . . . and now they are vulnerable.

DAY 5 ACTION: Learn about the Dreamers.
Cesar Vargas is a leader of the Dreamer movement. He was brought to the United States from Mexico by his parents when he was 5 years old. Vargas went to college in the U.S., graduated from law school, passed the New York bar, and then battled for the right to be sworn in as the first ever undocumented lawyer in New York.

There is a lot going on that we could protest or call about this week. Instead, we’re going to take a couple of days to learn about the Dreamers. They may need our support in the coming days, so we should meet them and learn about their status.

Immigrants with unclear status may be early targets of this new Administration. At the top of the list are the Dreamers (this link is a great opinion piece on the topic by the New York Times).

If you have 5 minutes, watch This video by and about Dreamers.

The DREAMers get their name from the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act. It was first introduced in Congress in 2001 by Senators Durbin (D-IL) and Hatch (R-UT); it was reintroduced several times but has never passed. Alien minors are young people brought to the U.S. as children and who overstayed visas or otherwise do not have legal immigration status.

After the most recent DREAM Act failed, in 2012, President Obama issued an executive directive (different from an executive order), deferring deportation and providing a status (although temporary) for about 1.2 million of these undocumented young people. The 750,000 people who received this status were able to get work authorization and live without the constant threat of being sent “back” to a country they no longer knew.

In 2014, when President Obama attempted to expand the DACA (deferred action for childhood arrivals) program and create a companion DAPA (deferred action for parents of americans) program, twenty-five states sued to stop the program. A Texas court halted the program, and the case made its way to the Supreme Court, where the 8 judges split 4-4 last summer, automatically upholding the lower courts (that’s what happens when the Supreme Court ties). Here is a summary of the legal battle.

The court case meant the DACA program could not expand. However, 750,000 young people still have status from the original program. They have registered with the United States, so the government knows where they are. President Trump as candidate vowed to deport all 11 million undocumented residents of the United States. A targeted removal of DREAMERS, or a general sweep to round up undocumented residents for deportation including DREAMERS, is a real risk.

Today’s action: Read about the Dreamers, using the links on this page. Go online to learn more. Spend 15 minutes getting to know some of your neighbors.  

Tell us what you’ve done via our Facebook page, on Twitter with #keepmarching, or by commenting below/following this site!

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