By: Anne Wilson
This week, after months of speculation, the federal administration announced the termination of the program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which was implemented in 2012 by executive order under President Obama to provide some immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children the opportunity to live and work in the U.S. without fear.
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), 787,580 people received DACA through March 2017, and California is home to the majority of DACA recipients at an estimated 200,000. Through DACA, these young people came forward, passed rigorous background checks, and obtained permission to reside and join the workforce in the United States lawfully.
We at United Way Bay Area (UWBA) are inspired by young people who dream of a better future not only for themselves and their families, but also for their communities. Against all odds and through sheer determination, they have become doctors, lawyers, and scientists while continuing to advocate for opportunity for all.
They have also contributed to the fabric of society and the economy – the Center for American Progress estimates that ending DACA would result in a loss of $460.3 billion from the national GDP over the next decade, and ending DACA would remove an estimated 685,000 workers from the nation’s economy.
In pursuit of their dreams, they trusted the U.S. government with sensitive information and the fate of their families. For the administration to upend the promise of opportunity that was made to these young people is wrong. Ultimately, it is Congress that must act in the next six months to provide a permanent solution so that these young people can fulfill their dreams and continue to contribute to the country they call home.
UWBA fights for the right of every single Bay Area resident to have equal opportunities to thrive, and that includes defending DACA. Join us in this fight.
Give: Your donation to UWBA will help support our advocacy efforts to defend DACA, provide information and referral for immigrant families through our helpline 211, and connect immigrant workers to legal services through our Labor Community Services. Donate here.
Advocate: Contact your member of Congress and urge them to support DACA. Find your U.S. Representative.
Spread the Word: Show your support for young immigrants through your social media accounts. #DefendDACA | #HereToStay