Statement: We Stand with Dreamers
September 12th, 2017
Elani Gonzalez-Oritz, Communications Director
Info@urbedadvocates.org | EGonzalezfirstname.lastname@example.org
In Phoenix, Arizona, just hours after the Trump Administration announced its decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, hundreds of students walked out of classes at South Mountain High School. Marching a mile to the police station, expressing their outrage at the decision and their solidarity with all the students who will be hurt . Similar student-led protests happened in Denver, DC, and several other cities around the country.
The DACA program was established by President Obama in 2012. It targeted for young people (or “Dreamers,” as they are called) who were brought to this country by parents or other family members when they were children or even Infants. The act is in place for those who entered the US before age 16 and have lived there since June 15, 2007. While the act does not offer a path to citizenship, DACA protected Dreamers from possible deportation and allows Dreamers access to basic human needs such as driver licenses, opening bank accounts, and importantly safety in public schools and workplaces. There are over 800,000 Dreamers in the United States. The vast majority attend school or work – or both and pay taxes without being offered any federal financial aid through Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA), and are limited to state or college financial aid. For some this is the only country that they remember living in.
As one public high school teacher in Philadelphia said, “these are children who did not make the decision to enter the U.S. illegally. They broke no law and they’ve grown up as American as you and I.” Thousands of those Dreamers who are affected by the Trump Administration’s outrageous decision are still teenagers attending public high schools all across the city. Under DACA, they were able to pursue their education freely, without the looming threat of deportation. Many cities and states even provided financial aid to make that education possible.
Once again, these students must live under the shadow of uncertainty and fear. Once again, they and their families face the possibility of ICE raids, being torn from their families and communities, and sent off to a country which, for them, would essentially be a foreign unknown place.This places fear into the students, which can drastically affect their performance in school. Will they be torn from their social circle of friends? Will the work they have put in to get this far be for nothing? Will their future be torn away from them?
Everyone must join these students in their protests, UrbEd is no exception. We will continue to work to aid the undocumented member of the education community by giving them access to the most resources possible. We will continue to reach out to other organizations and give support and do whatever we can in our power to restore DACA. UrbEd will draw on connections that our team have to organizations working directly on issues facing Dreamers. We strive to make sure all members of our community are safe and secure and is receiving a quality and efficient urban education. By denying them their education and their future, we are denying our society of much talent. We urge Congress to act to protect Dreamers from the hatred of the President of the United States. We must fight to restore DACA at all costs.