Kind, selfless young people are facing not only a natural disaster, but also fears about their futures and the futures of their loved ones.
In a recent Univision article, a writer told the stories of Dreamers who are helping with disaster relief in Houston. According to the story, there are 271,000 eligible Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries in Texas and 68,000 in the county where Houston is located.
While dealing with the impact of a natural disaster, the Dreamers in affected areas are now facing an additional set of fears about their futures. Some of these fears include the possibility of losing the right to work legally in the U.S. and being deported. Despite these fears, Dreamers are rolling up their sleeves to help their fellow Americans.
Some of the Dreamers who are helping Houston recover from Hurricane Harvey are a firefighter who saved lives, a woman who helped take calls from people who had lost their homes, and another young woman who has been assisting an elderly evacuee. The woman who answers the phone to provide comfort to those who have lost everything, the young man who has spent a straight week in a fire station helping with logistics and the young woman who is looking after an elderly stranger in a shelter are Americans. They are the kind of people other Americans should aspire to be like.
“These Dreamers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper,” –Former President Barack Obama.
DACA allows Dreamers to obtain driver’s licenses, live openly without fear of being deported and work legally in the U.S. The program has positively changed the lives of nearly 800,000 people who were brought to the U.S. as children. It’s morally wrong to get rid of these protections. Losing these protections leaves people who were brought to the U.S. as children without many options.
The process of becoming a citizen is extremely difficult. Many Dreamers would love to become citizens, but don’t currently have access to a pathway to legal citizenship. Here’s why.
So what happens now? It is up to Congress to act to protect Dreamers. If Congress doesn’t act, nearly 300,000 people will be at risk of deportation in 2018. Good people like caring teachers could also lose their right to work in the U.S.
- You can help by contacting key lawmakers. Here’s a toolkit. Encourage them to pass the Dream Act to give Dreamers a chance to become legal citizens. Let’s do better.