Yep, your plan for today is to #DefendDACA.
Yesterday, Trump announced that he would wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which had been protecting about 800,000 people who came to America before the age of 16. Or, rather, Trump was too cowardly to do it himself and sent Attorney General Jeff Sessions to do it instead. The plan, supposedly, is to give Congress six months to pass a law that would do what Obama’s 2012 executive order did before the program goes poof.
The news was met with protests, anger, and demands that Congress do something NOW RIGHT NOW to help.
We recommended that you burn up the phone lines calling your MoCs yesterday, and we still recommend it today.
Only sharp, fierce, firm pressure of the sort we generated to fight off Trumpcare will do here. (Yes, that means we at OTYCD may end up doing a multi-day string of posts devoted to one issue. We’ll see.)
Ben Wikler (@benwikler) tweeted on September 5 that passing a law that will affect the DACA folks for the better is doable:
Vote-counters think we have the votes in both houses of Congress to pass the DREAM Act *right now.* Question is if leadership holds the vote
McConnell and Ryan will only hold the vote if they feel massive political pressure. Your channel to pressure them: your own Sens/Reps.
Here’s hoping the DACA fight doesn’t last as long as the Trumpcare fight.
Before calling your MoCs, check their web sites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds to see if they’ve said anything about DACA. Thank them if they spoke in favor, and berate them if they spoke against it or have said nothing.
Possible pro-DACA script for your MoCs: “Hello, I am (Firstname Lastname, and I live in town, zip code). I wanted to tell (Senator/House Rep Lastname) that I support the DACA program and the Dreamers, and I want him/her to pass a law that formally protects them–preferably a law that would not expire. The Dreamers deserve the chance to stay here and become citizens officially. Thank you.”
Taylor Behnke, who tweets under the handle @ItsRadishTime, is offering to donate $1 to United We Dream for every call you make to your MoCs to #DefendDACA. Friends of hers are contributing $1 as well, raising the bounty to $3 per call. But remember–take a screenshot and tweet it to prove that you made the call:
Since the news broke on Tuesday, and even a bit before it was made official, several state attorneys general announced they will sue to defend DACA. If you saw yesterday’s post you will remember that nine other state AGs were trying to force Trump’s hand by threatening to sue if he didn’t end DACA.
Back in July, a total of 20 state AGs asked Trump to keep DACA:
At least three state AGs have announced that they will sue the government to keep DACA: Eric Schneiderman of New York; Maura Healey of Massachusetts; and Bob Ferguson of Washington state.
Given that 20 spoke in favor of keeping DACA in July, more than three state AGs will join their counterparts on the lawsuit.
To learn who your attorney general is, plug your address into this search engine:
Scroll down about halfway for your state reps. The name of your attorney general should be there. Click the plus sign to the right of the name and it’ll give you the phone number for your AG’s office.
But before you call, google your AG’s name. Check his or her website and social media platforms. Make note of whether there are any statements about DACA. Be ready to thank or shame the AG accordingly.
And remember–be unfailingly polite; don’t call until and unless you can be unfailingly polite (rehearse the script first, out loud, if you need to); and only call the attorney general for your home state.
Sample pro-DACA-lawsuit script for your state AG: “Hello, I am (Firstname Lastname, and I live in town, zip code). I wanted to tell the state attorney general that I support the DACA program and I want him/her to sue the federal government now that Trump has moved to abolish it. Please tell the AG that he/she has my support if he/she initiates or joins a lawsuit to protect DACA and the Dreamers. Thank you.”
Sample script for one of the nine state AGs who threatened to sue Trump to stop DACA: “Hello, I am (Firstname Lastname, and I live in town, zip code). I wanted to tell the state attorney general that I support the DACA program and I want him/her to know I am disgusted with his/her stance on the program and I will remember this when it comes time to (re-elect him/her, re-up his/her appointment). Thank you.”
Possible thank-you script for Tennessee AG Herbert Slatery, who withdraw from the anti-DACA lawsuit: “Hello, I am (Firstname Lastname, and I live in town, zip code). I wanted to tell the state attorney general that I support the DACA program and I want to thank him for leaving the group of attorneys general who are threatening to sue the federal government to end it. I appreciate him having the wisdom to change his mind, and I appreciate him having the strength and courage to do the right thing. Thank you.”
Now an updated roll call of #DefendDACA resources.
Here’s Indivisible’s #DefendDACA action kit:
To stay on top of DACA-related issues and the #DefendDACA effort, check the web page of United We Dream, the leading organization that protects and defends the Dreamers:
Follow United We Dream on Twitter:
And follow Adrian I. Reyna, director of membership and technology strategies for United We Dream, who has been giving practical advice to DACA-folk and their friends and family:
If you want to donate money to directly help those participating in DACA, there are any number of fundraisers for currently enrolled DACA-folk who need help paying their renewal fees before the October 5 deadline.
The YouCaring platform has a fundraiser that is trying to underwrite the DACA application fees for 30 people. As of 8 pm EST on September 5, it had raised just over $10,000 on a goal of $15,000:
Follow Muna Mire on Twitter, who is all over compiling and tracking online fundraisers for people who need help with DACA fees:
Here’s United We Dream’s FAQ on the end of DACA and what it might mean:
Here’s a good no-nonsense rundown from Teen Vogue on DACA and the consequences of removing it: