This morning, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), established under President Obama to support young people who came to the United States as undocumented children, will be rescinded. Congress is now tasked with establishing new guidelines during the six-month delay before the program's end. About 10,000 Hoosiers are protected under DACA, and 800,000 young people are nationally.
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This is a long-term and up-hill battle. It did not begin with DACA and it will not end with DACA. For those of you who are feeling frustrated, panicked and / or angry and are wondering what you can immediately do to help, here are a few things:
1. Consider supporting the undocumented youth, already living in the state of Indiana. While DACA has afforded undocumented youth some protections, securing funds for college has become something of a focal point (since IN is still one of 3 states that does not afford undocumented students in-state tuition for public colleges). You can buy tickets to the Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance (IUYA)'s 2nd Annual Scholarship Dinner here and learn more about IUYA here.
2. Consider donating to organizations like the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic that provide FREE legal assistance to not only low-income people throughout IN, but many many undocumented people seeking guidance on anything from asylum to assistance on applying for family-based visas. You can donate through this link here.
3. Know someone who has been detained by Immigration Customs Enforcements (ICE) yet, the family doesn't have the means to pay for the immediate help of an criminal / immigration attorney? Consider helping them meet this immediate need and going beyond the initial phase by helping come up with a bond money or even going to pay the bond itself (since as of now only USC's and LPR's can pay the bond). Don't know anyone? Volunteer your name to IUYA to be on call should this need come up.
4. Consider going beyond a monetary donation and instead volunteer with organizations such as the Immigrant Welcome Center with immigrants re-settling here and their Natural Helpers Program. For more information on this opportunity, click.
5. Consider volunteering at local high schools / middle school with recently arrived immigrant youth. This is a great way to understand what the student is struggling with and strategize to best meet these needs. In addition, often times the families will have arrived to the US with nothing and will be in need of basic necessities and may not be connected with the right resources. Reaching out to your own children's school is a great way to pursue this opportunity and Mrs.Majerčák who has been working with English Language Learners for over 20 years, would welcome inquiries about how to pursue this as well. Those interested would need to complete a basic background check. For more information, contact Julie.
6. Consider supporting candidates for the 2018 / 2020 elections that will stand behind our communities, that will not demonize us or continue to criminalize our immigrant communities, consider getting involved in local caucuses that hold conversations on how to move the state forward (more on this later).
This list is not exhaustive, by any means but it is a start.
The road to progress and inclusiveness is a long and uncomfortable one, one that often require we make personal sacrifices. Being present and showing solidarity when our communities are being threatened and under attack is important, but so is showing long-term commitment and support.