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WAKING UP: As Dreamers wake up to a new America, here’s the facts about the end of DACA

Alicia Fraire / Red Dirt Report
Emerson High School, located at 715 North Walker in Oklahoma City, shows its support of Dreamers.
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OKLAHOMA CITY — On September 5th, President Trump announced that he has major plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which has protected almost one million undocumented children and young adults from deportation, allowing them to work legally in the United States since 2012.

Many of the DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers, were either born here or brought to this country at a young age, grew up speaking English (in some cases, their only language) and call America home.

To apply for DACA, immigrants had to have arrived in the US before 2007, and have been 15 years or younger when they arrived and younger than 31 when DACA was created in June 2012. Also required was a clean criminal record, a high school diploma or GED or enrollment in a school.

The aim of the program was to help these children build and establish a normal life here to prepare them for future citizenship and since its inception in 2012, the program has been as a massive success: not only are 91 percent of Dreamers employed, they pay taxes and contribute $400 billion to the GDP. As a matter of fact, DACA Recipients are not eligible for Medicaid, welfare, Food Stamps, SSI, ACA and Section 8. They are U.S. citizens in every sense of the word except a rubber-stamped piece of paper, going to show that when undocumented workers don’t have to hide in the shadows, they can actually contribute to society better than many of our own citizens.

There are about 7,000 DACA recipients in Oklahoma alone.

With the news regarding Trump’s unsurprising decision to end the program, there has been a lot of back and forth from various outlets about what happens next. The National Immigration Law Center, however, has cut through the confusing clutter, offering a few immediate and important facts that Dreamers and DACA recipients should know immediately:

1. Your DACA is valid until its expiration date.

DACA and work permits (Employment Authorization Documents) will remain valid until its expiration date. To determine when your DACA and work permit expires, look at your I-795 Approval Notice and the bottom of your Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

2. No new DACA applications will be accepted.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) no longer will accept or process first-time applications after September 5, 2017.

3. DACA issuances and work permits expiring between now and March 5, 2018, must be submitted for renewal by October 5, 2017.

If you have a permit that will expire between now and March 5, 2018, you must apply for a two-year renewal of your DACA by October 5, 2017.

4. Advance Parole to travel abroad is no longer available.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will no longer grant DACA recipients permission to travel abroad through Advance Parole. Any pending applications for advance parole will not be processed and DHS will refund any associated fees.

5. We are united in this fight.

You are not alone. We mobilized, organized, and marched five years ago for DACA, and we will continue to do everything in our power to protect immigrant youth and their families across the country. Visit www.weareheretostay.org for resources to help you and your loved ones take care of yourselves in this difficult time as well as information on what you can do to take action now.

Local activists and immigration groups are asking recipients, supporters and allies to contact their congressmen immediately to let them know you feel this is unfair and unjust. In Oklahoma, the representatives to call are:

James Inhofe: (918) 748-5111 / (918) 748-5119

Markwayne Mullin: (918) 687-2533 / (918) 686- 0128

James Lankford: (918) 581-7651 / (202) 228-1015

Frank Lucas: (405) 313-1958 / (405) 373-2046

Jim Bridenstine: (918) 935-3222 / (918) 935-2716

Steve Russell: (405) 602-3074 / (405) 602-3953

The long-term effects of losing DACA and the Dreamers are still being calculated, but many believe that, economic downturn aside, it will cause many immigrants to return to living in the shadows, struggling to eke out a living in the constant fear of being arrested and deported, a barbaric way to treat a human being who knows no other life than this, the supposed American Dream and our supposed Way of Life.

 

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Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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