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#DefendDACA

September 12th, 2017

Celebrate Latinx Heritage Month, Defend our Dreamers!

As with labor day, we once again find ourselves celebrating aspects of who we are, what we believe in, and what we fight for under threat. We reserve September to celebrate Latino Heritage and honor the contribution Latin-Americans have made to our country. And yet days after this month commenced, we woke up to the announcement that 800,000 bright young people, the vast majority being of Latin-American decent, would lose their protections under DACA and become vulnerable to deportation. 

In the face of this, it rings hollow to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of the past, while the present day inheritors of that heritage and legacy of contribution are met with possible expulsion. Like many things lately, our celebrations must transform themselves into actions; we are called to celebrate this month by protecting and defending our students, past and present, made vulnerable by this news. 

 

I ask that you declare your classroom a sanctuary, you come out as an ally for our undocumented communities, that you educate our students and parents of their rights if they are at risk of deportation, and that you link our families in need with affordable legal services. Resources to do all of this are here.

 

Thinking nationally, nothing influences elected officials more than phone calls to their offices, in person visits, and/or your attendance at a town hall. www.5calls.org is a great resource for you and our students to engage with and demand change from those with the power to legislate in our country.

 

For those of us that have graduated DACA students, inform them that if their DACA work permit expires before March 5th, they should renew immediately before Oct. 5th. CHIRLA and CARECEN are both providing FREE DACA renewals. Share their contact information with your Dreamers:

 

CHIRLA

2533 W 3rd St #101, Los Angeles, CA 90057

(213) 353-1333

 

CARECEN

2845 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005

(213) 385-7800

Additionally, Many of you will be the first link between our Dreamers and the legal resources many will begin to seek as the revocation of DACA sets in. This news makes Dreamers vulnerable, not only to federal actions, but also to segments in the community that pray on the vulnerable. Many will seek out or be approached by unscrupulous lawyers, notaries, or paralegals looking to cash in on this community crisis.

 

Many of these people and businesses are encouraging Dreamers who are INELIGIBLE to renew to submit renewal paper work anyway, plus the $495 USCIS application fee, AND their service fee.

Please go out of your way to share legitimate and trustworthy legal service providers and these following points:

NEED TO KNOW DACA FACTS

  • Only Dreamers who’s DACA paperwork expires between 9/5/17 and 3/5/18 are ELIGIBLE for DACA renewal. They must submit a renewal by Oct. 5th, 2017.

 

  • Dreamers who’s DACA documents expire after 3/5/18 are NOT eligible for renewal, and will have to let their paper work expire (absent a congressional fix).

  • Legal advice claiming Dreamers should renew regardless of DACA expiration date is inaccurate, misleading and likely seeking to cash in on this crisis.

  • Once DACA expires, CA is still the safest place to be for Dreamers as they can obtain/maintain their drivers license, qualify for instate tuition and state financial aid as AB540 students, and likely live in a sanctuary city (like LA).

 

  • In California, re-verification of a social security number to check if it is tied to a legal status is illegal. Employers CANNOT re-verify social security numbers after DACA expires to check if they have hired DACA recipients.

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