Here’s what you can do today to defend DREAMers

Call Congress - Defend DREAMers

Photo: Office of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

We just ended 2017 without a meaningful relief package for DREAMers.

This means that every day, 122 people lose their chance to work, to further their education, to own a home, or simply provide for their families.

That will become an estimated 1,400 people per day in March.

So we can’t wait anymore.

We need a Dream Act this month.

Watch the video below and read on to see how you can take action to help DREAMers today.

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Enough is Enough!

A potential deal between Democrats and the president over how to fix DACA may have been announced late last night, but that didn’t stop hundreds of Latino activists, community leaders, and advocates from marching and rallying at the White House today to tell the Trump administration that on DACA and a host of other issues, “enough was enough.”

UnidosUS joined the rally, organized by the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, to join the call that our community will no longer tolerate the racist rhetoric that has become a defining feature of this young administration.

You too can join the action to show your solidarity with DREAMers. To start, go to unidos.us/heretostay and take our pledge to stand with DREAMers. When you do, you’ll become part of a growing network of advocates who are working to fight back against the forces of hate and bigotry.

And, don’t forget to follow us on social media. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @weareunidosus.

What Does the Administration’s Decision to Rescind DACA Mean?

By Carlos A. Guevara, Senior Policy Advisor, UnidosUS

For the past five years, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), a lawful and incredibly successful program, has transformed the lives of nearly 800,000 undocumented youth who came to the United States as young children. President Trump’s decision to end DACA means that hundreds of thousands of young people are now relying on Congress to come up with a bipartisan solution in order to ensure that they are not thrust back into the shadows.

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The TPSeano Series: Saving TPS and the 250,000 “TPSeanos” Living in Our Communities

By Carlos A. Guevara, Senior Policy Advisor, UnidosUS

Today, more than 250,000 TPSeanos from Central American are at risk of losing their protected status. In the next five months, the Trump administration will be making decisions on the future of temporary protected statues, or TPS, designations for the Central American countries. There is no official position by the administration with respect to the future of TPS designation for these countries, but recent remarks by senior officials do not bode well for the continued long-term future of protected status for these countries, even though major violence and human rights violations associated with civil strife in their home countries make it unsafe for them to return.

TPS beneficiaries are integral members of our communities. According to a July 2017 report by the Center for Migration Studies (CMS), TPS beneficiaries from the three largest TPS countries by population have an estimated 273,000 U.S.-born children, and 10% of Salvadoran and 6% Honduran TPS beneficiaries are married to legal residents. The report also finds that 87% of the TPS population from these countries speaks at least some English, and slightly over half speak English well, very well, or only English.

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The TPSeano Series: What Is Temporary Protected Status?

In the month headed into Congress’s August recess, much of the attention in the immigration space has been correctly focused on protecting the DACA policy that shields nearly 800,000 youth from deportation, pushing back on the Trump budget proposal, which would take funding for deportations to unprecedented levels, and picking up the pieces from the painful effects and consequences of the ramped-up interior enforcement on predominantly Latino immigrant families. Not to be lost in the shuffle, however, is another very important issue percolating in the not-too-distant background. Within the next six months, the Trump administration will be making decisions on the future of temporary protected status (TPS) designations that could impact over a quarter of a million Latinos from Central America, some of whom have been residing in the United States for nearly 20 years.

TPS is a humanitarian tool established by legislation giving the executive branch a way to provide temporary status to some of the most vulnerable populations in the country. Under TPS, people already residing in the United States may be designated for protection due to an ongoing armed conflict, natural disaster, or presence of extraordinary and temporary condition in their country of origin. TPS beneficiaries are eligible to work legally in the country and may apply to travel abroad for so long as the U.S. government determines that protected status continues to be warranted—a decision that is typically assessed 18 months after an initial designation or a preceding TPS extension.

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ICE Intimidates Latino Community with Arrest of DACA Recipient Practicing Free Speech

Earlier this week in Jackson, Miss., 22-year-old Dany Vargas stood bravely before reporters to speak about the fear that she and many of her friends and family have of being deported at any moment under a new administration that has targeted the Latino community.

Dany’s fears are real. After all, it was just two weeks ago that she watched her father get arrested outside their home. She literally hid inside her bedroom closet for fear that she too could be deported. Dany’s father and her brother were arrested, detained, and are currently awaiting deportation. Despite her fears after watching her family members taken away, Dany spoke eloquently about being a DREAMer and how much she wants to contribute to her country, which she has called home since she was seven years old.

As a DACA recipient, Dany has been able to work as a store manager, and has dreams of being a math teacher. But, her DACA status lapsed after she was unable to pay the $500 fee that is required every two years to maintain the status. However, Dany did save up the money she needed, and last month got her paperwork in order so that she could begin the renewal process. Since her application is pending, what happened next was shocking.

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NCLR Joins Civil Rights Groups in Demanding White House Preserve DACA Program

Photo: Office of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

On January 18, in anticipation of expected executive orders on immigration from the Trump administration, NCLR signed onto a letter from the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights urging the new president to keep the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program for immigrant youth intact.

The DACA program was established in 2012 under former President Obama to grant temporary deportation relief to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States before their sixteenth birthday. More than 750,000 individuals—known as “DREAMers”—have enjoyed the benefits of the DACA program. For many DREAMers who have grown up in the United States, this has been the only country that they have ever known.

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Granting Extended Status to DACA Recipients is the Right Step Forward

We applaud the bipartisan bill legislation Senator Lindsey Graham (R-N.C.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced late last week that would provide provisional protected status for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients.

The 2012 program allows unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the United States as children—also known as “DREAMers”—who have completed or are enrolled in high school, and who have not committed serious offenses, to obtain temporary protection from deportation, as well as a work permit, renewable every two years. Since DACA’s implementation, almost 740,000 DREAMers have received temporary deportation relief.

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What You Need to Renew DACA

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Follow these steps to properly fill out a DACA renewal

DACA WORKS!

Now entering its fourth year, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has changed the lives of the 728,285 people who have received temporary protected status and work permits. And when it’s time to renew, it’s best to start the process early before your work permit expires.

Follow these steps from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to ensure that your DACA renewal process goes smoothly:
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Millions of American Families Still in Need of Immigration Relief

Southwest-Key_005Late last night, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld an earlier ruling in Texas v. United States, temporarily blocking implementation of President Obama’s executive actions to provide deportation relief through an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the creation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program.

We are deeply disappointed by the decision, which ignores decades of legal precedent and leaves millions of American families in limbo.

“The record is clear—since the end of World War II, presidents of both parties have used discretionary powers on multiple occasions and for an extensively wide range of reasons to protect various groups from deportation,” said  NCLR President and CEO, Janet Murguía, in a statement. “This decision disregards both this precedent and the necessity and practicality of setting priorities when it comes to immigration enforcement,”

The Department of Justice expressed its disagreement with the appeals court and has indicated that it will ask the Supreme Court to review the Fifth Circuit’s decision.

US Supreme Court“Ultimately, we believe that a higher court will and should overturn this decision and history will show that President Obama’s actions prevented the separation of families, began to fix a badly broken immigration system, and enriched the economy” said Murguía.

In the statement, Murguía also noted the lengthy review period the Fifth Circuit took to hand down its decision.

“As many have noted, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the decision is not just incorrect but was delayed unnecessarily,” said Murguía. “We cannot permit those opposed to this measure to simply ‘run out the clock’ because we are confident that, when brought before the Supreme Court, the justices will agree that the president was well within his legal authority to provide relief for millions of families.”

Although implementation of these specific programs remains halted, eligible applicants may still participate in DACA. For more information on how to apply for DACA, please visit uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals.