• Becca Haydu

Our response to the repeal of DACA


Earlier this month, it was announced that the program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, otherwise known as DACA, would be rescinded in March 2018. We at Mano en Mano felt it was important to speak out on this issue. On September 5th, we published the following statement on our Facebook page:

Mano en Mano stands in solidarity with everyone affected by the President’s recent decision to end DACA, and especially with the 800,000 “Dreamers” currently living in the United States. It is immoral to use the lives of immigrants as a political ploy. DACA was always an imperfect solution, and Congress must act on immigration reform for the benefit of all 11 million undocumented immigrants.

That same week, staff members organized a community conversation at our office in Milbridge. On September 7th, we welcomed nearly thirty people to this space. Together, we painted a banner with the words “Estamos con los 11 milliones” or “We stand with the 11 million.” This number refers to all undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States. We chose this statement to show our solidarity with the undocumented community as a whole, as well as the Dreamers. Currently, there are 95 DACA recipients in Maine.

During this event, we gathered in a circle to process, reflect, and be in conversation about the repeal of DACA. One by one, each person in attendance shared a word to describe their emotions: anger, embarrassment, and worry were common feelings in the room.

Mano en Mano staff also compiled a list of national community organizations who are currently working on issues related to DACA. Below is a list of scholarship funds, organizing groups, and media networks who support the undocumented community:

  • Mission Asset Fund (DACA Renewal Scholarships): DACA recipients nationally can apply, meaning folks here in Maine can tap into this fund to renew.

  • Movimiento Cosecha: Undocumented-led organization fighting for protection, dignity, and respect for all 11 million undocumented immigrants. Cosecha supported Nuestra Voz en la Comunidad around the May 1 rally in Milbridge and made news after the DACA repeal when DACA recipients were arrested in New York City protesting the repeal.

  • UndocuBlack Network: This organization aims to uplift the stories of undocumented Black immigrants and to facilitate access to resources for the Black undocumented community.

  • UndocuMedia: Disseminates information through various forms of media which pertains to legislation that addresses the undocumented community. A great source of undocumented perspectives and news.

  • United We Dream: Largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, seeks to address inequities and obstacles faced by immigrants and fights for access to higher education and legal status for undocumented youth.

  • BAJI: Works to bring the African American and Black immigrant communities together to organize and advocate for racial, social, and economic justice. Great source of information and action around issues affecting Black immigrants!

  • Specific DACA Renewal Funds: Puente Arizona Members, Fuerza Collectiva (Seattle), and CHIRLA (California) are also currently collecting funds so that recipients whose DACA expires before March 5, 2018 can renew for free.

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