The Dreamers stood up, registered, got counted . . . and now they are vulnerable
DAY 6 ACTION: Talk about the Dreamers’ situation with friends and family. What is your community doing to support these young people?
Freedom University was founded in 2011, to provide free university education to Georgia Dreamers. Georgia bars undocumented students from attending state university. In 2017, two public universities in Georgia will begin admitting undocumented students, but will charge out-of-state tuition.
Yesterday’s post introduced a few DREAMers, described their legal status, and warned that Trump’s immigration policies threaten their lives in the United States. Many of the DREAMers were brought to the U.S. as toddlers or small children. English is often the only language they know. America is their home.
It’s important to talk about the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) participants and other undocumented minors, to make sure our friends and family understand who these kids are if the Trump Administration comes for them. We should also talk with DREAMers when we meet them, to learn about their experiences.
Communities around the U.S. have taken steps to support the dream. There is no legal definition of Sanctuary Cities and Sanctuary Campuses, but they are joined in a commitment not to turn undocumented residents and students over to federal immigration officials. Under the U.S. Constitution, state laws cannot conflict or interfere with federal law. But if a local official just doesn’t tell an INS official that they suspect a neighbor is undocumented, there isn’t really a law that’s been broken. Hundreds of communities have stepped into this fuzzy area of law, for powerful moral and economic reasons.
In addition, at least one community has created a university to educate DREAMers. Three states bar undocumented students from attending state university – Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina. In response, a group of academics founded Freedom University in 2011. In response to questions by MisCienDias, one Freedom University professor, Dan Deocampo, says, “It’s inspiring and an honor to volunteer with these young Americans. They could lose everything at any moment, and yet they are still filled with hope and energy to build a strong future together.”
Today’s action: Talk about the Dreamers’ situation with friends and family. Discuss ways communities are working to support them as they build a better future. Ask what your community is doing. Have look at what Freedom University is doing.