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Open Letter to DACA Participants from U.S. Educators

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Open Letter to DACA Participants from U.S. Educators

On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced guidelines for the DACA program which was created through an executive order by the Obama administration. The program allows undocumented immigrants to apply for consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.

  1. The Guidelines are as follows. You may request DACA if you:
  2. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  3. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  4. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  5. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  6. Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
  7. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  8. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
  9. Anyone requesting DACA must have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012. You must also be at least 15 years or older to request DACA, unless you are currently in removal proceedings or have a final removal or voluntary departure order.

These guidelines mean that many of the DACA participants are students in U.S Schools.
President Trump has promised to rescind Former President Obama executive orders,  that protect DACA participants. He has also promised mass deportations. he has fiven us every reason to believe him. This means our students stand to lose their homes, their families, and their country.

This letter is for those students
(Based on An Open Letter of Love to Black Students: #BlackLivesMatter)

Dear DACA Participants

We are educators first.

We’re writing to tell you belong here, in your homes, with your families, in the United States of America. We are writing to tell you that we see you and hear you. We are writing to tell you that we support you. We are writing to tell you that you belong in our classroom, our schools, our community colleges, and our universities. You belong here, in your homes, with your families.

We are writing to tell you we love you.

We know you are scared. We know you are frustrated. We know you are watching the news and that you want to be out there protesting, fighting back. We know why you aren’t—the risk is too great. We know that you face challenge after challenge in your day to day life, in your work, and in your classroom.

We know that you are first in the line of fire of the new administration.

Some of us teach you. You come to us asking for help, for answers, or to cry. You come to tell us you are leaving, or that you have lost some one. You come to tell us that you are being attacked. We hear you. We see you.

We know you are in danger.

Right now. In this moment.

We want you to hear this.

We are educators first. We stand with you. We will fight with you. We are here to teach everyone who comes into our classroom.

So we will tell you how to organize. Help you find the information you need. We will open our offices for you to cry, or work, or just breathe in safety. More than anything we will tell you to hold on.

Hold on to each other. Hold on to us. Hold on.

We want a future for you, here, in this country. In the country your families help to build, in the country your presence helps to make beautiful.

We write this is in solidarity of all DACA participants on our campuses, in our schools, and in our communities. We writer this in solidarity because we are educators first.

We’re trying.

You already KNOW that you belong here. Know that we KNOW you belong here. With all of us. One of us.

I pledge to use my position as an educator to:

1.      Help DACA students organize and resist any attempt to remove them from their homes and communities

2.      Help DACA students locate information

3.      Speak out against the attack on the DACA program

4.      Encourage my department to draft an official statement committing to supporting our DACA program students

5.      Encourage my university or school to officially declare its self a sanctuary school

6.      Use our position to create safe places for you to speak

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