U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the latest application figures for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which have averaged over 4,000 applications a day. United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led movement in the country, celebrated the new numbers and the ongoing success of DACA.
“These new numbers show that our two years of campaigning for this victory continue to yield great results and the deferred action program is providing a new measure of hope to DREAMers who know and love this country as home,” said Lorella Praeli, Director of Advocacy and Policy at United We Dream. “DREAMers themselves are leading a national campaign to assist fellow DREAMers applying for deferred action. In 2013, we’ll wage a major nationwide campaign to push the President and Congress to deliver a permanent solution, creating a roadmap to citizenship for DREAMers and our families and communities.”
At the recent United We Dream 2012 National Congress in Kansas City, 600 representatives of America’s 2 million DREAMers voted on their official platform for change, pledging to fight for their families and communities and win a roadmap to citizenship and fair treatment for all undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Their official platform:
1. Fair treatment for DREAMers and our families and communities, including a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million Americans without papers and an end to senseless deportations and abuses
2. The ability to travel without fear, ensuring all immigrants have access to driver’s licenses and the ability to visit family in other countries
3. The elimination of barriers to higher education for immigrant youth by extending state and federal financial aid opportunities, as well as in-state tuition rates to DREAMers available to our peers
4. An end to excessive and costly immigration enforcement policies which separate families and divide communities, such as “Secure Communities,” E-Verify, 287G, and roadside checkpoints
5. Access to health care and safe, fair working conditions and equal protection under the law for all
6. Growth and diversity of our movement for change, intensifying efforts to become more inclusive of non-Latinos, LGBTQ communities, differently-abled people, people of faith, and other groups
Hundreds of United We Dream members have already been approved for deferred action and are celebrating receiving their work permits and drivers’ licenses.
“With my work permit, I feel like I finally have the ability to reach my dreams. I can share my talents and skills and develop myself on a professional and educational level,” said Delia Nava, one of many “DACA-mented” youth, who lives in Los Angeles, Calif. “Also, I now have my very first professional job as the work study/project assistant at the University Transfer Center at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College. Here I can assist other DREAMers and students with the community college experience and system.”
Another DREAMer who will soon receive her work permit thanks to deferred action, Dayana Guzman from Arizona, is planning to further her education, enrolling at Arizona State University to study Communications and foreign languages. She writes, “The next step is applying for an I-131and enrolling into another language program; this time in Korea or Japan – which are the home countries of the languages I am studying, maybe for a semester, being exposed to the language and therefore obtaining a higher level of fluency. Once my goal is accomplished I will be able to call myself a ‘quatri-lingual.’”
For more information on deferred action clinics and events, visithttp://www.weownthedream.org