Protect DACA Recipients

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), appalled by President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, is working with Reform congregations and like-minded organizations such as RJV to demonstrate widespread support for the program’s recipients, young people brought to the United States as children. The DACA program enables such undocumented young people, known as Dreamers, to work, go to college or participate in other academic programs, or serve in the military without fear of being deported from the United States. Ending the DACA program would put the Dreamers at risk of deportation. DACA recipients will begin losing their protected status in six months, on March 5, 2018, unless Congress passes a legislative replacement such as the Dream Act.

Take action to protect Dreamers now:

  1. Call to thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for their sponsorship of the Senate Dream Act (1615). Call your Representatives who have sponsored the House bill (H.R.3440) and thank them. Urge all of your legislators to pass a clean Dream Act in 2017. You can reach their offices by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
  2. Send your legislators an email through the RAC legislative advocacy network. Urge your Senators and Representative to immediately pass a clean Dream Act of 2017(1615/H.R.3440).
  3. Participate in events, vigils, and programs to support Dreamers. Explore online resources for information about the issues and to find out about nearby events.
  4. Spread the word about your support for Dreamers by posting the action you take on your social media accounts. Visit the RAC’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for suggested posts to share.
  5. Let the RAC know what you are doing in support of Dreamers.

 

Background:

On September 5th the Trump administration announced the termination of the DACA program, which would disrupt the lives of almost 800,000 young people brought to the United States as children. Ending DACA is not only unjust, it’s also poor policy; surveys indicate that more than 90% of DACA participants are employed and pay taxes. Almost half are taking classes.

Support for Dreamers is widespread. A 9/12/17 POLITICO/Morning Consult poll indicates that 73% of all U.S. voters support a pathway to legal status. A tremendous organizational and public outcry for their protection from deportation followed the announcement that DACA would be discontinued. In New York State, Governor Cuomo has expressed support for Dreamers and a lawsuit filed by a coalition of 16 State Attorneys General was led by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman to prevent the implementation of the DACA phase-out and termination of the program.

The Dream Act, bipartisan bills that provide a route to full citizenship for Dreamers who attend college or serve in the military, have been before Congress for more than 16 years. Senator Charles Schumer was among those initially sponsoring the Senate Dream Act of 2017 (S. 1615), of which Senator Gillibrand is a co-sponsor. Eighteen congressional representatives from New York State are co-sponsors of the House bill (H.R.3440). On March 13th during a conversation over Chinese food, President Trump, Senator Schumer and Representative Pelosi discussed options for passing the Dream Act, but strong and sustained action is needed to keep the pressure on Congress.

 

Our Jewish tradition urges us to welcome the stranger. Imagine where American Jews would be today had others not welcomed our ancestors more than a century ago. This issue is on the “front burner;” take action now to assure an ongoing welcome for the Dreamers!

 
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