Roundups Law and Policy

DACA News: Resources for DACA Recipients and Supporters

Rewire Staff

Immigration and civil rights advocates have shown they will continue to push back on the decision, by launching information campaigns and clinics to help DACA recipients and their supporters navigate what’s next.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, leaving 800,000 immigrant youth at risk of deportation once their permit expires. Rewire will add news updates related to DACA here. If you or someone you know has a DACA experience to share, please contact us here.

Last updated on Friday, September 8, 5:11 p.m. ET.

Resources for DACA Recipients and Supporters

Since Tuesday, immigration and civil rights advocates have shared tip sheets, posters, and resources online and in their communities to help those affected by Trump’s decision to terminate the DACA program after six months.

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Those whose protection is set to expire on or before March 5, 2018, have until October 5 to apply for renewal, according to a Department of Homeland Security memo. The remaining DACA recipients will lose their protection when their permits expire unless Congress puts forward a “fix.” NBC News has compiled the details on what protection holders should know.

DACA recipients should check their status and file for the two-year renewals if they can. The paperwork must be filed between 120 and 150 days before the expiration, according to a government guide for DACA renewals. On Twitter, a number of online fundraising campaigns have been shared to support those unable to cover the DACA renewal request fee. Those in need of assistance can also email the DACA Renewal Fund, which provides funds to those who need to renew DACA before the deadline. (Donations to the fund are being accepted here.)

Organizations like the National Immigration Law Center and United We Dream have a wealth of information online to help worried individuals and their families navigate what’s next.

Meanwhile, activists have shown they will continue to push back on the decision, marches have been organized nationwide, and #DefendDACA continues to gain momentum on social media.

Community leaders are organizing locally to provide support.

Within hours of the announcement, volunteers in Los Angeles started printing out posters and guides such as a series of “Know Your Rights” posters, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Additional resources include deportation defense cards, which can be printed out in various languages, and the National Immigrant Justice Center’s guide to “Know Your Safety Plan.”

A number of DACA clinics have popped up, which offer tangible support to folks facing the loss of DACA. Several clinics are planned for Texas in the coming days.

DACA supporters can help support immigrant youth in numerous ways. Bustle and HuffPost have handy guides covering a range of actions, from contacting congressional representatives to taking on pro bono legal work. And organizations like the Immigrant Defense Project offer tools for supporters to help defend their communities against planned raids.

DACA Decision Antithetical to American Values, Says U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, by a majority vote, condemned the decision to end DACA, calling it a “a step backward for our country,” in a statement released Friday.

The independent, bipartisan agency charged with advising the president and Congress on civil rights matters explained that besides being a blow to DACA recipients, deporting them would cost billions and repealing the program could lead to the loss of 700,000 jobs and hundreds of billions of tax revenue and economic stability over the next decade.

It urged Congress to protect DACA recipients, pass legislation aimed at reinforcing that protection, and reform the immigration system.

“Rending America’s social fabric to target children solely on the basis of their parents’ decisions offends the American values embodied in the DREAMers and their principled contributions to our nation,” said Catherine E. Lhamon, chair of the commission, in the release.

The Lawsuits Are Coming

Less than 24 hours after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced DACA will end in six months, 15 states and Washington, D.C., filed a lawsuit in New York, accusing the administration of violating the Administrative Procedure Act and the due process and Equal Protection clauses of the Constitution.

While conservative states seemed to have rallied around Trump and his hardline stance on immigration, blue states from California to New York have been gearing up to push back.

After New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra rolled out press releases announcing they planned to sue the administration, Democratic attorneys general of Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, and Rhode Island followed suit.

In addition, a DACA recipient in New York has filed a lawsuit arguing that termination of DACA violates federal law and equal protection rights. Martin Batalla Vidal, a 26-year-old Mexican immigrant, and the social justice nonprofit Make the Road New York went to federal court Tuesday, CNBC reported.

Legal experts say that lawsuits could be an uphill battle and the best way forward for DACA recipients is for Congress to pass a bipartisan bill allowing them to stay in the United States.

Thousands of People Around the Country Protest Trump’s DACA Decision

Nationwide protests Tuesday ranged from students walking out of class to support DACA recipients in Denver to others opposing Trump’s decision at events spanning from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.

Thousands, including students from middle school, marched in a citywide rally to the Auraria Campus in Denver to support immigrant youth protected under DACA. The decision to undo DACA affects more than 17,000 people in Colorado, reported the Denver Post.

Hundreds of activists gathered outside the Trump Tower in Manhattan to protest the decision. At least 34 protesters were arrested, according to ABC News. More than 2,000 gathered later in Foley Square and marched across the Brooklyn Bridge. A dozen were arrested, including a New York council member, NBC News reported.

In D.C., hundreds marched from the White House to Trump International Hotel carrying signs and chanting slogans in support of immigrants. Some even sang “This Land Is Our Land” in English and Spanish, according to videos posted on social media.

Hundreds marched in Chicago, shutting down Congress Parkway to gather at the the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office demanding “Protection for all,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

Several protests broke out across California, home to 214,000 or the largest group of students protected under DACA, on Tuesday. DACA students and protest organizers rallied at City Hall in Los Angeles, pledging to protest and fight for each other, according to the Los Angeles Times. Hundreds also came out to protest Trump’s decision in Irvine, San Diego, and San Francisco, according to news reports.

DACA supporters also came together in Fort Worth, Texas. About 30 of them gathered to protest the decision outside U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R)’s office, and about 124,300 Texans are protected under DACA, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Supporters of DACA gathered in Philadelphia and planned to “occupy” offices of congressional leaders across the state, according to the Voice.

Immigrant rights groups and politicians shared space at protests in Seattle calling for the termination of the “cruel and immoral” decision, according to Crosscut.com. Among the speakers was Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who said he was working with other attorneys general to sue the Trump administration.

Hundreds more gathered to protest in Atlanta; dozens rallied in Durham and Raleigh, North Carolina; and a hundred more in Des Moines, Iowa. Smaller rallies also cropped up in Kentucky and Nebraska in favor of protecting DACA recipients.

Obama Says Trump’s Decision Went Against “Common Sense”

Hours after Sessions delivered his remarks, sharing Trump’s decision to wind down the DACA program, former President Barack Obama criticized the action in a statement on Facebook. “Let’s be clear,” the statement said, “the action taken today isn’t required legally. It’s a political decision, and a moral question. Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us.”

It is precisely because this action is contrary to our spirit, and to common sense, that business leaders, faith leaders, economists, and Americans of all political stripes called on the administration not to do what it did today,” Obama added. “And now that the White House has shifted its responsibility for these young people to Congress, it’s up to Members of Congress to protect these young people and our future. I’m heartened by those who’ve suggested that they should. And I join my voice with the majority of Americans who hope they step up and do it with a sense of moral urgency that matches the urgency these young people feel.”

Some immigrants rights’ advocates saw the former president’s statement as problematic because of the role Obama played in ramping up the U.S. immigration system and deporting historic numbers of immigrants. Social justice attorney Nnennaya Amuchie explained on Twitter that his statement also used “language of criminality and illegality,” adding that “Black immigrants are more likely to be detained & deported on ‘criminal grounds’ than any other immigrant population. Thanks Obama.”

Advocates, Attorneys General File Lawsuits in the Wake of Trump’s DACA Decision

Several lawsuits were filed after Sessions’ announcement, including one from the National Immigration Law Center, which tweeted, “They’re ending #DACA? Then we’re suing.”

This comes as attorneys general in CaliforniaNew York, and Washington state have vowed to sue the Trump administration for terminating the program.

Activists March to ICE’s D.C. Headquarters Following Sessions’ Remarks

Rewire Communication Associate Lauryn Gutierrez was on the scene:

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