“I Have A Dream” Foundation Statement on DACA

On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced that it will end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) in six months if Congress does not find a permanent solution. As an organization committed to providing equal access to a future full of opportunity for all children, we believe that DACA “Dreamers,” much like our students, who we call Dreamers, deserve the opportunity to continue to learn and thrive regardless of their immigration status.

Many of our own Dreamers are also DACA recipients, and are some of our brightest and hardest working students, community members, and colleagues. Much like how children born into low-income communities deserve an equal opportunity to learn and thrive, we believe that all children, regardless of the immigration status of their parents, have that same right to be children; to learn without being deported, detained, or separated from their families; and to learn so they may continue contributing to a better world, where the boundaries of economic background, race, sexual orientation, gender, or immigration status do not act as a barrier to achieving their dreams.

We were founded on these values in a country built by immigrants—where our own founder, Eugene Lang, the child of Jewish immigrants from Russia and Hungary, had a chance meeting while working as a dishwasher that led to an education at Swarthmore. Mr. Lang went on to build a successful business where, with his vision, generosity, and recognition of the opportunities he had been given, he was able to give back to over 18,000 students over the past 35 years.

We urge our members of congress to act with conscience over the next six months, by issuing comprehensive reform so that all Dreamers may continue to learn, to pursue their dreams, and to find a permanent path to citizenship.

In the words of Martin Luther King Jr. in his historic “I Have A Dream” speech, where we derive our name, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’”

In solidarity,
Donna Lawrence & the National “I Have A Dream” Foundation

We urge you all to educate yourselves on DACA and share your own stories on how your lives have been positively impacted by a DACA recipient. Remember not to disclose identifying details that may put someone at risk for deportation. Define American has a storytelling tool here: https://defineamerican.com/stories/share/. Participate in local informational calls and actions, and you can find more info on contacting your lawmakers here: https://dreamacttoolkit.org/.

Some resources:  

What is DACA & how will this change impact current DREAMers
http://www.npr.org/2017/09/05/548754723/5-things-you-should-know-about-daca

Top 5 things to know about what Trump’s announcement means for DACA:
http://weareheretostay.org/resources/daca-update-five-things-you-should-know/

What are some potential replacements from congress?
http://www.npr.org/2017/09/06/548766330/here-s-how-congress-could-act-to-save-daca

What can you do now?
http://mashable.com/2017/09/05/daca-undocumented-immigrants-how-to-help/#xnVi6Bwi8mqB

What do I need to know if DACA ends?
https://www.ilrc.org/sites/default/files/resources/if_daca_ends.pdf

 Contact your lawmakers:
https://dreamacttoolkit.org/