After a tumultuous nine years, DACA—and the immigrants it supports—are under attack. Again. On Friday, July 16, a Texas federal court ordered the DACA program to partially end. We’ve been here before, and frankly, we’re tired.
We know from experience that the DACA program has helped recipients secure higher wages, pursue an education, and work toward their dreams. Moreover, its impact ripples out to the families and communities of recipients. Over the years, families, students, and business owners have shared with us the impact DACA has had in their lives:
Nine years ago, DACA was, at best, intended to be a temporary fix to a broken system, a house of sticks to hold the nation over while we lay a concrete foundation for lasting immigration reform. Defending the DACA program and supporting its recipients is crucial. However, it’s not enough. It’s time to end that fight for good.
It’s time for citizenship for all.
Now is our time to be loud, be heard, and create real, lasting change by passing a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants. We’re fighting for the millions of immigrants – including over 640,000 DACA recipients – who stepped up to care for our nation’s sick, feed our nation’s families, and lead our nation forward throughout the pandemic. They are, and have always been, essential.
We need action. Here are five things you can do today to make a difference. Given the fear and uncertainty cascading through immigrant communities after the latest ruling, every action matters.
How To Support DACA Recipients
1. Spread the word about MAF’s DACA fee assistance
At this time, current DACA statuses remain valid, and renewal applications will continue to be processed. MAF remains committed to ensuring that the $495 filing fee isn’t a barrier. If you are eligible to renew your DACA status, pre-apply for MAF’s DACA fee assistance to cover the filing fee. If you are a first-time DACA applicant, we encourage you to consult a trusted legal service provider about your case.
If you know anyone who could be eligible for renewal, please invite them to apply! These are a few stories from clients who have recently received MAF’s DACA fee assistance.
“This grant is important to me because it will allow me to safely continue to support myself and my family financially. Through DACA and the associated work permit I am able to practice a career I care about with the employee benefits and rights I deserve.” — Delia
“This grant will help my family so much in giving me a chance to be able to renew my DACA without having to fall behind on other payments I have. It will reduce some stress we have right now trying to figure out how to pay my renewal. It’s a great opportunity because I will also be able to pay back on a payment plan which makes it so much more accessible for us to do so.” — Gloria
“This grant is really important to me so I can continue with my DACA card and be able to work and help my parents out, I also want to set money aside to go back to school and continue with my career to be a Pre-school teacher.” — Yaritza
2. Share credible information
It can be hard to know what and what to trust in an age of misinformation. That’s why we created a resource with the latest information on DACA. If you know anyone who is wondering what the latest ruling in Texas means for them, please share this page.
The main take-away: USCIS will NOT grant DACA status to first-time applicants if their applications were not already approved before July 16, 2021.
3. Contact Congress
We encourage you to join us in contacting your member of Congress today to demand a pathway to citizenship for all immigrants. The Senate has already included legalization in its budget resolution, now it’s up to the House of Representatives to do the same. Writing your Representative is a fast, easy, and impactful way to make your voice heard. This resource includes a letter already drafted for you! Be sure to send your letter ASAP.
4. Sign a petition
Add your name to an online petition from United We Dream. This petition calls on lawmakers to include a path to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants in the reconciliation package before Congress goes on recess in August.
5. Donate to MAF’s DACA Fee Assistance campaign
The $495 filing fee shouldn’t stop young immigrants from renewing their applications. We’re stepping up with a national campaign to provide partial and full grants to cover the application costs for DACA recipients with the greatest need. But we can’t do it alone.
We’ve already raised $1 million. Join us and help us double our reach. Stand with immigrants today.
MAF is proud to stand with immigrant communities. Follow us on social media for the latest updates on how to show up and do more for immigrants.