Statement from the Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS) regarding the abolishment of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program
September 13, 2017
The Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social expresses its deep opposition to the announcement ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. DACA recipients are known as “Dreamers.” On September 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of DACA, because DACA is an executive action and not a law, the Trump Administration has broad authority to end or change the program.
More than 1.2 million unauthorized young people including Dreamers have been approved for DACA, which has allowed young people to legally live, work and study in the United States. Canceling DACA would have an enormous impact on the lives of these dreamers and their families. Historically, many DACA families contributed meaningfully to the economic prosperity of the United States of America. The mothers, fathers, cousins, uncles, aunts, sisters, and brothers have worked in back-breaking labor industries. In spite of the illnesses, injuries, and fatalities that these families have experienced, their children, the “Dreamers” have had access to a fair education, until now. To date, the “Dreamers” are now entering a range of professions in the United States such as educators, medicine, counseling, researchers, engineering, law, retail/sales, media and marketing, and a variety of other fields. The “Dreamers” and their families continue to contribute to the United States economy.
We reject and repudiate the end of DACA. MALCS has no tolerance for white supremacy and nationalist propaganda that promulgates hatred, gender oppression, bigotry, violence, and racism against ethnic/racial minorities. We draw upon our cultural tradition and heritage to face head on the political struggles we face with people of color and DACA. We see ourselves developing strategies for social and political change–a change emanating from our communities. We declare the commitment to support and seek social, economic, and political change throughout our work and collective action.
Education is a universal human right that extends to all immigrants. As mentioned in the article cited below “Dreamers aren’t just coming from Latin America”…the Dreamers come from South Korea, Philippines, Poland, Jamaica, Pakistan, Indian, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Guyana, and other countries. MALCS hereby declares unyielding support for all the Dreamers locally, regionally, statewide, and nationwide. We write to encourage the protection of undocumented immigrant students at all universities. Many of the members of MALCS have worked hard to establish a safe educational space for the students by engaging in culturally responsive teaching and supporting their academic success.
While this letter expresses support for DACA students, the MALCS membership would also like to join the national petition of collective universities that outlines specific actions for university administrations to enact on behalf of DACA students. These actions, which we encourage our respective university administrations to undertake, are as follows:
- Ensure that DACA student privacy remains guaranteed, according to FERPA laws.
- Assign an administrative office such as the Chief Diversity Officer or VP for Diversity, the responsibility for counseling DACA students on their educational situation.
- Advertise that DACA student counseling services are available on a strictly confidential basis.
- Continue in-state resident tuition for DACA students who have qualified previously, including the recipients of scholarships.
- In the event of arrest, imprisonment, and deportation, or in the event a DACA student is reluctant to appear on the campus, universities should make arrangements for online distance education or continuation and completion of their degree programs for all current DACA students.
- Maintain the DREAM loan program for financial aid.
- Offer legal services to our undocumented students.
- Support campus-based student service centers.
- Direct campus police not to contact, detain, question or arrest individuals based on suspected undocumented status, or to enter agreements to undertake joint efforts to make arrests for federal immigration law violations.
MALCS strongly recommends that these aforementioned actions be instituted as soon as possible at our individual educational institutions, so that DACA students can be assured of institutional support towards continuing in school and the administration’s commitment to DACA student retention and timely completion of their degree programs.
MALCS Membership and Dr. Cecilia Aragón
Chair, Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS)
“How to Protect Yourself and Your Family as DACA Ends”: https://com-cam.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/DACA-English.pdf
 Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services