Earlier this summer, MoveOn.org launched the Resistance Summer, which was created to mobilize people around action and create tangible victories for environmental and social movements. We’re joining in with our Eight Weeks of Action series.
This week, President Trump and the Justice Department took aim at and announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act, which gave children brought to the states by undocumented parents protection from deportation and permission to work and study in the states. DACA recipients are often called DREAMers, and must have a clean criminal record and be enrolled in school, working, or in the military.
Taking away protections for these 800,000 young people isn't good for our country. A survey of DREAMers from National Immigration Law Center and the Center for American Progress shows that 91 percent of DREAMers are employed, and five percent are business owners. They not only make positive impacts on our economy, they're simply Americans. Many have no memory of another country, and deporting them is a cruel way to break up families and expose young people to dangerous situations in other countries.
A green economy means one in which all people have equal opportunity to do meaningful work for a living wage, in safety and without exploitation. DACA helps make that happen for nearly a million people who just want to live their lives safely in the U.S.
As we've harnessed readers' energy for resistance this summer, we’ve given seven actions you can take towards combating hate, protecting the environment, supporting green businesses, and holding corporations responsible. This week, we're giving you seven actions to support DREAMers and the continuance of the DACA program. Some of these actions will be harder or more time consuming than others, but we think if you’re able to take action every day, or even a few days a week, you’ll know you’ve made an impact.
We’re moving forward, with or without Washington. Will you join us?
Day 1: Call and write Congress. The ACLU has created a tool to send letters to senators and House representatives about why they should sponsor and pass the bipartisan DREAM Act of 2017, which will provide uninterrupted protection for DREAMers and provide qualified undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. before the age of 16 a pathway to citizenship. You can also use the script on that tool when you call your senators or representative.
Day 2: Be vigilant of fake news and spread truth. Some anti-immigrant activists use the same imagery and language from pro-immigrant organizations to try to lure undocumented people to ICE to be deported. This is especially true on social media. Organizers and pages you can trust include United We Dream and Undocumedia. If you or someone you know is a DACA recipient, make sure they know the facts about the status of their issuances and work permits.
Day 3: Show up to a rally or protest. Thousands have already shown up to protests of the repeal of DACA in Washington, DC, New York, Los Angeles, and other cities around the country. Look for an event on this locator from We are Here to Stay, or connected to a local immigrants' rights group, school, or union.
Day 4: Advocate for sanctuary status. Find out who runs your town or city—a mayor, board of selectmen, or other municipal leadership. Ask them to support making your community a sanctuary city or town, which means local police forces won't cooperate with ICE if there is a raid to deport undocumented people. If you work at or attend a university, write to or call your university president to ask that the campus be made a sanctuary.
Day 5: Give what you can. Donate to an organization working to protect and defend immigrants and immigrant children in the US. The National Immigration Law Center and United We Dream are some such organizations.
Day 6: Educate yourself. US immigrants, documented and undocumented, are the biggest targets of unscrupulous employers who subject them to sweatshop conditions. These employers prey on immigrants’ fear of deportation or their emerging grasp of English to exploit them. Read Green American’s article Fair Labor at Home to find out more about sweatshop and slavery conditions here in the US. Then, reach out to immigrants in your city whom you think may need help.
Day 7: Elevate undocumented voices. Look for stories on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that use #DefendDACA and #HereToStay. DREAMers are sharing stories as immigrants and Americans, from what they have gained living in the US to what they have to lose if they were deported. If you want to share a story but you aren't sure if it's for sharing, ask the person first. Many DREAMers call themselves "undocumented and unafraid," but without their permission to share, you could be putting them at an unforeseen risk.