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How to protect DREAMers as they head to the Supreme Court

How to protect DREAMers as they head to the Supreme Court

DACA

On November 12, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a set of three cases which will determine whether the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will continue to exist and, with that, the fate of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrant youth who currently live and work in the U.S. protected from the threat of deportation.

Established by President Obama in 2012, DACA allows eligible undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to stay in the U.S. and work and go to school. These immigrant youth are known as DREAMers. On September 5, 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the termination of DACA, jeopardizing protections for its recipients. In response, several lawsuits were filed against the administration claiming that it had terminated DACA unlawfully. These are the challenges the Supreme Court will hear on November 12. The decision in the case is not expected until June 2020. In the meantime, DACA recipients will continue to live in limbo, unsure of their future in the United States.

As the date of oral arguments fast approaches, hundreds of DREAMers, activists, and allies are walking from New York City to Washington, D.C. as part of the #HomeisHere march. They are hoping to draw attention and build public support for protecting DACA and providing a permanent pathway to citizenship for DREAMers as well as holders of Temporary Protected Status (TPS). You can follow their journey and hear stories of the incredible impact which DACA has had on DREAMers’ lives by going to https://www.homeisheremarch.org/.

In addition to following the #HomeisHere March, listed below are several ways which you can get involved from across the nation. There are also specific suggestions for people in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

Nationwide Actions.

  • Ask clergy in your congregation to offer a prayer for the fate of the DREAMers during Shabbat services
  • Enter your city or zip code into this searchable map on the United We Dream website to see if there is a rally in support of DREAMers in your area on November 12.
  • Urge your congregation to sign the Brit Olam and join the Immigration Justice Cohort to connect with other congregations active in immigrant justice work across North America.
  • Consider making a financial donation to the United We Dream DACA Renewal Fund. DACA recipients must reapply for the program every two years, but the reapplication fee costs $495. United We Dream (UWD) is the largest immigrant youth-led network in the country, and the organization is running a fund to help DACA recipients pay for reapplication. UWD is encouraging DACA recipients to reapply while the preliminary injunction keeping the program alive remains in place

D.C. Metro Area Actions

Leading up to November 12: 

On November 12:

Finally, no matter where you are, please take a moment to write to urge your Senators to pass legislation that will provide permanent protections and a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers and TPS holders. DACA was never intended to be a permanent solution; Congress must act to pass a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers and TPS holders so they no longer have to live in fear of their lives being suddenly turned upside down by abrupt policy changes.

Danny Cooper is a 2019-2020 Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC). He grew up in New York City, where he was a member of the Village Temple.

Danny Cooper

Published: 11/05/2019