#DefendDACA: Resources for Resistance

On Tuesday, September 5, Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which provides young immigrants who arrived in the US during childhood without legal documentation protection from deportation. It is a bare-bones policy of human decency. DACA was made possible thanks to the brave resistance led by undocumented immigrants to win protection from deportation. Over 800,000 young undocumented immigrants are at risk of losing DACA and facing deportation from their own country.

If you currently have DACA, your documents and work permits will remain valid until its expiration date (look at your I-795 Approval Notice and the bottom of your Employment Authorization Document (EAD). What this means is that no new DACA applications will be accepted or processed. 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. Additionally, DACA recipients no longer have permission to travel abroad through Advance Parole. Any pending applications for advance parole will not be processed and DHS will refund any associated fees. Read more here.

We must continue this legacy of resistance in fighting for what is right. The administration has given Congress a six-month window to come up with a legislative fix–without congressional action, DACA will expire on March 5, 2018Call your Senators and representatives to let them know that you are their constituent, you support DACA and will fight to protect it. Ask them to support a legislative solution that will permanently protect DREAMers from deportation; also ask them to commit to cosponsor the DREAM Act, a bipartisan bill which was re-introduced by Sens Dick Durban (D-IL) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC) in July.

NYU President Andy Hamilton has confirmed that the university will continue to provide financial aid to undocumented students as before, and will work with students on a case-by-case basis to try to address any other issues that may arise as a result of today’s action. Additionally, NYU’s Department of Public Safety officers will continue neither to ask about the immigration status of those on our campus, nor will they convey an individual’s status to any other governmental entity. Similarly, the University will provide no information to immigration authorities about members of our community absent a court order, and stand prepared to fight any court orders we believe to be overly broad or invasive.

Below are some resources:

At NYU:

  1. NYU Immigrant Defense Initiative: provides free legal advice, referrals, and/or representation on immigration issues to NYU students, staff, and faculty. Members of the NYU community can schedule a confidential consultation with an Immigrant Defense Initiative attorney by phone at 212-998-6640, or by email at immigrant.defense@law.nyu.edu.
  2. Assistance Request Form:  If you are facing unanticipated challenges related to travel, housing, financial aid, or anything else, please fill out the form below and a member of the NYU staff will follow-up with you to discuss your situation within three business days.
  3. DREAM Team @NYU: students, immigrants, and allies, both documented and undocumented, working for a common cause.
  4. Counseling and WellnessCWS offers students short-term individual counseling, group counseling, self-improvement classes, referrals, and psychiatric medication services. All services except psychiatric medication services are free of charge. See also health care access for undocumented people under the Trump administration courtesy of undocumentedpatients.org.
  5. DREAM Zone Registration: DREAM Zone is an interactive training that serves to introduce NYU students, faculty, and staff to issues and challenges facing the undocumented community through contexts of global concepts and terminology, history, and policies and procedures centering undocumented persons. While the first part of the training looks at undocumented immigration transnationally, the second part takes a look at the issues faced by undocumented students in New York City and specifically NYU, exploring ways in which we can express solidarity with undocumented members of our communities.

Immigrant Youth Led Organizations:

  1. UnitedWeDream.org: The largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation. Check out their FAQ on DACA termination and their Mental Health Emergency toolkit
  2. NYSYLC.org: The New York State Youth Leadership Council was the first undocumented youth led organization in New York, working to empower immigrant youth through leadership development, grassroots organizing, educational advancement, and self-expression. 
  3. RAISERevolutionizing Asian American Immigrant Stories on the East Coast is a pan-Asian undocumented youth-led group. 
  4. AtlasDIY.org:  Atlas: DIY is a center for youth between 14-24 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn working with immigrant youth to unlock access to legal services, learning opportunities, and leadership development, in a space owned, run and governed by the youth themselves.

Books, Stories, Poems:

  1. Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal by Aviva Chomsky: How did “illegality” and “undocumentedness” that are concepts that were created to exclude and exploit? With a focus on US policy, activist Aviva Chomsky probes how people, especially Mexican and Central Americans, have been assigned this status—and to what ends. Read also Aviva’s article here on how the U.S. is an explicitly racist project intended to populate the land with white people; see also Mae Ngai’s Impossible Subjects.
  2. #HeretoStay: 14 Things to Read as You Stand By Undocumented Immigrants: Compilation by the Asian American Writer’s Workshop including counter-narrative zines written by undocumented Asian American women, the retelling of racist immigration history through poetry, and in-depth reported profiles of teenage DREAMers in Queens.
  3. Dreamers On DACA And What Happens If Trump Takes It Away: 5 undocumented New Yorkers explain how the DACA program shaped their lives, and what they’ll do if it’s repealed.
  4. Three Faces of DACA: A year after Deferred Action for Child Arrivals was launched, young people are having very different experiences with the program.
  5. Challenging the DREAMer Narrative by Jonathan Perez: “In order to cre­ate a space in the move­ment for undoc­u­mented youth, we need to accept all that an undoc­u­mented per­son was, is, and could be. This means fight­ing for every­one, regard­less of their past, regard­less of their mis­takes or misfortunes.”
  6. Los Otros Dreamers: community-published anthology of stories and photos about the experience of return and deportation to Mexico after having grown up in the United States. 
  7. On My Love For Those Who Refuse Silence: Featuring Wo Chan, Sonia Guiñansaca, Janine Joseph and Javier Zamora– poets refusing to be silenced. Also read El Salvador by Javier Zamora.
  8. Janine Joseph About the Visas and Between Chou and the Butterfly
  9. Being Trans Is Not Criminal: (But the U.S. Immigration System thinks it is)–After months of campaigning by immigrant and LGBTQ rights groups, Nicoll Hernández-Polanco was freed from her detention by ICE. Her story, written by Kris Hayashi of the Transgender Law Center, is a story of a young woman who escaped the broken immigration system, and how she was criminalized and psychologically tortured simply for being young and transgender.  Read also “Immigration Reform as a Queer and Trans* Human Rights Issue“.

Given the repeal of DACA and threat of repealing TPS, a summer of bellicose threats about nuclear war, the implementation of a version of the Muslim Travel Ban, and White Supremacists marching on our campuses and through our communities, it seems important to continue our efforts around the larger Sanctuary campaign on our campus and beyond.

This semester, we’re expanding the focus from demanding the status of Sanctuary from the NYU administration and towards using the incredible support, resources, and communities we have generated in the past few months to push for a broad campus movement that can respond to the current political moment.

***Resources compiled from the working Sanctuary Syllabus and from the NYU Center for Multicultural Education and Program (CMEP)’s DREAM Zone.