DALLAS, TX — Last week, volunteer immigration attorneys, policy experts, and North Texas Dreamers offered a legal clinic for eligible Dreamers who need to renew their DACA status, and answered questions on the latest news regarding the DACA case at the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on November 12, to determine if the Trump administration terminated the DACA program lawfully or not. As a result of the complex litigation in course, there is great confusion in the DACA community on whether it is still possible to renew DACA. The clinic served as an opportunity to spread the message that DACA renewals are still being accepted.
The clinic took place at the University of North Texas, Dallas where 70 DACA recipients received assistance in preparing their renewal applications.
The North Texas Dream Team (NTDT) is an immigrant community-led grassroots action and advocacy organization. NTDT’s mission is to advance the dreams and goals of students; to educate and bring awareness to everyone when it comes to issues in our communities, regardless of race or ethnicity. The North Texas Dream Team has been dedicated to DACA work since the inception of the program in 2012. As an all volunteer-led community organization, NTDT estimates they’ve been able to assist nearly 9,000 applicants in the North Texas area apply and renew their DACA applications at no cost to them.
For the past two years, the Trump Administration has been attempting to end DACA, an incredibly successful program that currently allows nearly 700,000 hardworking young people to contribute more fully to our communities and our economy. In Texas, there are over 109,000 DACA recipients and 46,700 U.S. citizen children of Dreamers whose lives would be thrown into chaos if this program ends.
DACA has allowed hundreds of thousands of young people to pursue higher education, buy homes and start businesses, advance their careers, and better provide for their families in the country they call home.
“The NTDT was created by undocumented students, and students from mixed-status households, fighting for a permanent solution, this was several years before the DACA program. Some of our very own co-founders risked deportation for DACA, it was a fight to get DACA, and it’s been a fight to keep DACA, but DACA is not a permanent solution, TPS is not a permanent solution. One million protected undocumented immigrants, out of the 11 million is not enough. There needs to be comprehensive immigration reform that does not compromise our parents, our families, and our community that doesn’t ‘fit’ in the Dreamer narrative, the “good immigrant” narrative. We must be united as one, because our liberation is bound in each other’s. If one of us isn’t free, none of us are. We don’t know what the outcome of the Supreme Court will be, but we do know reinstating DACA is a step in the right direction and we hope the Supreme Court will be on the right side of history,” said Angelica Andrade, North Texas Dream Team Community Organizer.
“Having DACA has given me the opportunity to practice my career. It means I can continue to work with my high school students. I’ve been able to travel to visit family without the fear of deportation, the fear of being separated from my daughter. Having DACA taken away will not only affect me, it will affect my daughter, my entire family. Having DACA means I can continue to be home with my daughter, home is here,” said Sandra Avalos, DACA recipient, mother and North Texas Dream Team Vice President.
Background on DACA Renewals:
Despite the legal twists and turns challenging the DACA program, current DACA recipients are still able to renew their protections because of the incredible efforts of so many advocates and young people.
This past July, FWD.us launched the DACA Renewals Now campaign, a long-term educational campaign and resource drive to support the nearly 700,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients who are impacted by changes to the DACA program. The campaign, housed under Informed Immigrant and Inmigrante Informado, is helping to encourage and facilitate DACA renewals for Dreamers by driving donations to organizations working around renewals, raising public awareness, and partnering with organizations to offer other related services, such as renewal clinics.
The launch of the DACA Renewals Now campaign is FWD.us’ second DACA-related donations program. On June 28, FWD.us and GoFundMe announced a renewed partnership to boost donations to the Protect DACA Fund, a nationwide effort started in 2018 to provide support to Dreamers across the country.