In another harrowing episode of “The Apprentice: D.C.” the president and Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced they will rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and this administration will begin reversing Barack Obama’s efforts to support the nearly 1 million children who are undocumented in the U.S. The Dreamers are individuals who came to the U.S. with their parents at a young age, had no power or control over their circumstances and now find themselves possibly living in the shadows in the only country they have ever known. Some Dreamers are from countries where they have no relatives, they do not speak the language and have almost no connection to the actual country itself. America is their home and now all that they have ever known is being threatened and could be taken away from them if Congress cannot agree on a compromise in the next six months, something they’ve been unable to do for the past 16 years of this debate. To say we need a miracle is an understatement. However, there are several mayors (and even governors) who are promising to protect the Dreamers, raising a series of 21st century conversations surrounding the role of the federal government versus states’ rights.
For those of us who would like to learn more about how we can help, there are several organizations doing this hard work. Some of the organizations that could use your support (financially and otherwise) are United We Dream, National Immigration Law Center, Immigrant Defense Project, National Immigration Forum, Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, Northwest Immigrant Right’s Project and the Families for Freedom. And of course, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration works on behalf of Black undocumented immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean, individuals often hyper-surveilled in their communities and extremely vulnerable to this administration’s draconian policies.
The mayor of New York City has established a resource website, ActionNYC, to answer the many questions that need to be answered by those affected by DACA as well as by those of us who care about the future of our fellow man. Those who have legal questions about DACA can call ActionNYC for free, safe immigration legal help in your respective language. Call 1-800-354-0365 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. New Yorkers can also call 311 and say “ActionNYC.” The website has resources about applying for DACA, identification requirements, public health insurance, public schools, IDNYC and, most importantly, access to free legal assistance. The website has a host of resources: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/immigrants/help/legal-services/deferred-action.page.
As we think about our fellow New Yorkers, we must also remember that we should hold our elected officials accountable for clear stances and solutions to these important policy issues that affect our lives. If you missed primary day Sept. 12, be sure to register if you can for the general election Nov. 7.
Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream” and the host of The Aftermath on Ozy.com. You can find her on Twitter @Dr_CMGreer.