There's a Chance Congress May (Finally) Save DACA
After months of a will they/won’t they tease between Congress, President Donald Trump and the federal courts, it seems a solution on DACA may finally be written into the script.
More than 700,000 recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program have been waiting since the fall to find out whether Trump’s on-again, off-again love of DREAMers would result in either an extension of broad protections, or mass deportation orders. For now, the Obama-era program is still technically limping along, but all sides of the issue will have to find at least some type of resolution. And it looks like one may be on the way.
There’s new momentum for Congress to protect DACA. This is serious — jump on it
In a somewhat remarkable show of sticking it to House leadership, a handful of moderate Republicans are working procedural back-channels to force a vote on several immigration measures, including one to save DACA. On Wednesday, they introduced what’s called a “discharge petition,” an obscure provision that will go over the head of Speaker Paul Ryan and force him to address immigration issues, whether he likes it or not.
The sponsors need 219 signatures in order to open floor debate on the measures by June. As Vox’s Dara Lind explains, they would need every Democrat and at least two dozen more Republicans to sign up in support. That means it’s time to start calling your local representatives to get their names on the dotted line. Find the directory here.
The National Immigration Forum is helping keep track of which reps have signed already. Follow their updates.
Are you a DACA recipient?
Know that you are *still* able to apply for a renewal. The only DREAMers currently shut out from the program are those who have never obtained DACA before. Here are resources to find out about your renewal.
Help cover the $495 renewal fee for DACA recipients
Or, channel your inner Jeff Bezos and throw down a $33 million scholarship fund for DREAMers. For smaller contributions, you can donate to DACA renewal funds with United We Dream, UndocuMedia Inc and also the Mission Asset Fund, which currently has a waitlist of applicants looking for renewal fee grants.
Major colleges and universities, like UC Davis, Cornell and CUNY, offer scholarships to incoming DREAMers. Stay tuned for a comprehensive list of the higher education institutions that actively help undocumented students. Other organizations, like Golden Door Scholars, offer core academic materials, including textbooks, health insurance and room and board.
Press your state to offer financial aid to DREAMers
New Jersey on Wednesday became the 10th state to offer financial aid to DREAMers. This means that college-aged DREAMers can apply for financial aid starting in the fall 2018 semester. Are you from any of the 40 other states that aren’t doing the same? Share the New Jersey model with your state’s leadership.
Yes, states are (again) suing to terminate DACA
But also, yes, groups are fighting back. Texas and six other states are behind a new lawsuit to gut DACA. Others have tried — and failed — to do the same in the past. But on Tuesday, MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) filed a motion to intervene on the behalf of 22 DREAMers who are fighting to keep DACA alive. Read more about their personal stories and biographies here.