DACA Resources for Students, Educators and Attorneys
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Posted by: Shelbe Klebs, Graduate Policy Intern
The Trump Administration recently announced that the White House will terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows current recipients to live and go to school in the United States without fear of deportation. In response, NCAN joined approximately 320 other organizations in sending a letter to Congress today in support of the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017.
After going more in-depth about the impact of this announcement in a recent blog post, and in further response to this decision, NCAN is identifying a number of helpful resources for our members and the students they serve. Resources especially helpful for students, parents, educators, and attorneys are sorted by category. This is not an exhaustive list but is a very good place to start if you are unsure where to begin searching for resources.
General Resources and Resources for Students
For students directly impacted by the DACA decision, the best place to start searching for resources will be with organizations that focus on immigrant rights. Student and families can reach out to these organizations to connect with an expert. The National Immigrantion Law Center* and the National Education Association* provide extensive resources on immigrant rights, civil rights, and Frequently Asked Questions about the termination of DACA. They also provide information on what recipients can do moving forward. Additionally, an updated FAQ sheet from Informed Immigrant includes information and recommendations on the program and how its termination will impact renewal, employment, health care, and higher education.
It is also important that DACA recipients know what their rights are in the event of an immigration raid or any other contact with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). United We Dream provides a document in several languages to help immigrants know their rights during an immigration raid. The California Equity Leadership Alliance, which includes Education Trust-West, the California State PTA and the California School Boards Association, has produced a toolkit of factsheets, policy briefs, sample resolutions, tips for talking with students, and classroom resources. NALEO Educational Fund provides a hotline and website with information on how to increase citizenship among eligible U.S. permanent residents (reach an expert by dialing 1-888-839-8682). United We Dream also provides great resources on immigrant rights -- including an extensive toolbox on immigrant and migration policy and advocacy -- and runs the Here to Stay campaign, which provides great information on protecting, supporting, and fighting for immigrant youth.
Resources for Educators
For educators directly supporting students affected by the DACA rescission, there are a number of national organizations with resources on how to help. The National Education Association provides guidelines as well as extensive resources on its website. Some of the main points include:
- Be present and available to observe and listen.
- Stay informed on the changing immigration policy landscape.
- Connect the current events to the classroom in a context that is appropriate.
- Get involved with local community organizations.
- Address acts of racism and hate within the school.
- Stand united with the students.
The American Federation of Teachers provides guides on how to help students understand their rights and what the personal impact on them may be. There is an educator’s guide to help prepare students for the possibility of an ICE raid and take steps to develop an emergency plan. For educators who work with international students, NAFSA: Association of International Educators provides a resource page with in-depth information on advance parole. The California Charter Schools Association, in partnership with Stanford Law School, released an extensive guide on protecting undocumented and vulnerable students. It reviews undocumented children’s right to education, policies needed to protect their rights, and actions educators can take in the event of parents being detained or arrested. This guide also provides good information for school districts looking to develop protocols for enrollment, confidentiality, and law enforcement campus access that protect the legal rights of DACA students.
Attorneys who want to get involved and support DACA recipients can turn to an American Immigration Council Practice Advisory, which targets lawyers with little experience in immigration law. It will help determine if DACA recipients are eligible for immigration benefits more concrete than DACA. It focuses on the adjustment of status, T and U visas, asylum, and special immigrant juvenile status.
Mental Health Resources
This decision can be very distressing for the students and families impacted. If students or families need support in dealing with stress or are experiencing crisis, there are many resources available to them. The Here to Stay campaign offers mental health resources* in addition to an emergency toolkit that offers tips on how to stay calm and alleviate stress. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline works to prevent suicide, and provides crisis resources as well as best practices for professionals (contact the lifeline by dialing 1-800-273-8255 for free, confidential, 24/7 support).
DACA will officially terminate on March 5, 2018, so it is important that DACA recipients and their families began to prepare for various possible outcomes. These resources will help recipients through a number of different situations and we encourage NCAN members to review them and utilize what is relevant in their work with students and families.
*NCAN member College Possible provided these DACA resources. Read College Possible’s statement about the DACA decision.