Association for Community Organization & Social Administration

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DACA - A Call to Action

A Call to Action in Response to the Discontinuance of DACA

Accepted at the September 13, 2017 Executive Committee Meeting

Written by Shane Brady with input from Michel Coconis, Stephen Stoeffler, Aster Tecle, and Rachel West

The Association of Community Organization & Social Administration (ACOSA) is appalled by President Trump’s decision to discontinue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Despite substantive evidence supporting the success of the DACA program, many myths still exist about recipients of DACA that must be challenged. As a result of DACA, out of the more than 1.1 million people eligible to participate in the program, more than 800,000 people have been provided a way to legally work and live in the U.S. (Pew Institute, 2014). Additionally, more than 95% of all DACA participants are currently in school or working, thus dispelling the myth that DACA recipients aren’t contributing to U.S. society (Hipsman, Gómez-Aguiñaga, and Capps, 2016). Finally, it is important to point out that an estimated 21% of all DACA recipients are working in helping professions and education related fields, thus making substantive contributions to the well-being of our society (Patler and Cabrera, 2015). It is as a result of the widespread success of the DACA program reported by policy experts, alongside our commitment to social justice and reform that ACOSA stands firmly against President Trump’s decision to eliminate DACA.

As an organization of community practitioners and social advocates, we strongly encourage everyone within our membership ranks, the social work and allied helping professions, and national and international communities to come together and take individual and collective action against the elimination of DACA, and for the passing of the Dream Act, which was initially created in 2001 and nearly passed through both the House and the Senate in 2010 (American Immigration Council, 2017). While ACOSA stands firmly against the repeal of the DACA program, we also identify the DREAM Act as essential policy for ensuring that many persons living in the U.S. and currently labeled undocumented have a feasible and accessible pathway to citizenship. For those wishing to take action, please consider engaging in one or more of the following activities:

  1. Call your U.S. senators and representatives and let them know that you strongly support the reinstatement of DACA and passage of the Dream Act.
  2. Reach out to other groups and organizations in your community to find out how you can become involved in helping advocate for the reinstatement of DACA.
  3. Help get people registered to vote in your community.
  4. If you are credentialed, consider offering pro bono services in counseling, social work, etc., to help those experiencing trauma as a result of the President’s decision.
  5. If you are involved in higher education, consider organizing and advocating for your institution to become a sanctuary for undocumented students.
  6. If you are an educator, consider doing something in your workplace to let students know that you stand with them and support them.
  7. Post on social media and let it be known to all in your social networks that you stand on the side of justice and with all current and future Dreamers.
  8. Consider reaching out to other community groups, organizations, and institutions and form a community coalition to support undocumented persons.
  9. Donate to organizations that support DACA and provide direct resources and support to undocumented persons.
  10. Shop and spend money at places that have come out against President Trump’s decision to eliminate DACA. Consider starting a local boycott of businesses that support the President’s decision.

ACOSA also encourages our members, partners, and allies to share this statement with their professional and social networks to promote the collective action necessary to challenge this injustice. ACOSA is also interested in partnering and collaborating with other organizations, groups, and institutions, within and outside of social work and higher education that want to build coalitions and/or stronger social action oriented efforts to challenge the DACA decision and other injustices. If interested in joint advocacy efforts, please contact Becki Sander at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

References

American Immigration Council (2017). The Dream Act, DACA, and other policies designed to protect dreamers. Washington D.C.: Author. Retrieved from: https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/dream-act-daca-and-other-policies-designed-protect-dreamers

Hipsman, F., Gómez-Aguiñaga, B., and Capps, R.  (2016). DACA at Four: Participation in the Deferred Action Program and Impacts on Recipients. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute. Retrieved from: www.migrationpolicy.org/sites/default/files/publications/DACAatFour-FINAL.pdf

Krogstad, J.M., and Gonzalez-Barrera, A. (2014). If original DACA program is a guide, many eligible immigrants will apply for deportation relief. Washington, D.C.: Pew Research Center. Retrieved from: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/12/05/if-original-daca-program-is-a-guide-many-eligible-immigrants-will-apply-for-deportation-relief/

National Association of Social Workers (2008). Code of Ethics. Washington, D.C.: National Association of Social Workers. Retrieved from: https://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/code/code.asp

Patler, C., and Cabrera, J.A. (2015). From Undocumented to DACAmented, Impacts of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program Three Years Following its Announcement. Los Angeles: Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. Retrieved from: www.chicano.ucla.edu/files/Patler_DACA_Report_061515.pdf.

Resources

NASW Advocacy Website

Center for American Progress DACA Website

Center for American Progress: A New Threat to DACA could cost states billions of dollars

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

National Education Association

National Immigration Law Center (NILC)

Southern Poverty Law Center

Advocacy and Education Resources

Find Your U.S. Senators and Representatives

Teaching Tolerance

Community Toolbox for Taking Action

Advocacy Resources for Nonprofits

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE PDF VERSION OF THE CALL TO ACTION.