120 Take Action to Protect Dreamers at Workshop
120 people attended a “Call to Action for DACA” workshop on December 10 organized by MACG Latino leaders.
Participants heard stories from two affected Latino youth, one who came to the USA as a two-year-old and the other when she was fourteen.
Both speakers related how they always wanted to go to college, apply for jobs, buy homes, etc., but were unable to because of their immigration status.
They both expressed what a relief it was to receive their DACA status during President Obama's tenure. One described crying and holding the document to her chest when she received it in the mail. "It seems silly that a single piece of paper was able to give me such a sense of hope and acceptance, but it did."
Now their dreams and the contributions they can make to US society are in jeopardy once again with President Trump's actions to end the program.
After hearing the stories, participants in the workshop got to work, performing direct advocacy on their smartphones.
Everyone at the workshop placed calls to Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, who as the senior ranking (Republican) of the Oregon delegation, has responsibility for the entire state.
They left voice mail messages at his offices in Washington DC, Bend, Medford, and La Grande, urging him to help pass a “Clean Dream Act” to provide permanent protection for young immigrants.
Participants were also encouraged to thank the other members Oregon’s delegation for their support of the legislation.
100 extra flyers were passed out for participants to take home to their friends and neighbors to urge them to take similar action withour congressional representatives, again, focusing on Rep. Walden.
More action is needed! Here is a flyer that details what actions YOU can take to protect immigrants who came to the US as children.
Background (Thank you to Oregon DACA Coalition):
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was formed through an executive order by former President Obama in 2012 and allowed certain people (Dreamers) who were brought to the US unlawfully as minors to be protected from deportation.
The DACA program was heralded for bringing young undocumented immigrants out of the shadows, allowing them to attend colleges and universities, obtain driver licenses, provide for themselves, their families and future while being positive and productive members of society.
On September 5, 2017, President Trump ended the DACA program for future applicants.
The 800,000 current DACA recipients will retain their DACA status until their expiration date, when they will be vulnerable to deportation.
Many young MACG members are DACA recipients and are anxious about the impacts of their changed immigration status once their permits expire.
There is a pressing need to influence Congress to pass legislation in its place, such as a clean DREAM ACT (without dangerous enforcement add-ons which could harm other family members and border communities).
MACG leaders know that time is of the essence, and we need to influence even immigration-friendly legislators to “hurry-up” and act on replacement legislation that is as beneficial as possible to immigrants.