Dear Green Dot Staff, Families, and Friends,
We are deeply disappointed and frustrated about this week’s announcement from the Trump Administration repealing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) over the next six months. As educators, we know firsthand that our students are children first, and deserve every opportunity to succeed rather than be held accountable for decisions they weren’t party to. Children under DACA’s protection know this country as their home, and in many cases, as their only home. We learn this again and again through stories of Green Dot students like Juan and Carlos, and educators like Mr. Ramirez and Mr. Ballesteros, who are giving back to their communities.
While we watch policy debated in Congress, we’re seeing its implications firsthand as it plays out in the lives of our educators, our students, and their families. The disappointment, the anxiety, the internalization of rejection - these become nearly palpable as tears well in the eyes of those who thought differently of America - of Americans, and of all of us by extension. We are also quickly reminded that at times like these, being an American means using our voice and our power to ensure that others’ voices aren’t diminished.
Green Dot was founded on the premise that our communities are brimming with the potential of individuals who are underserved and overlooked. Green Dot exists to level the playing field for students in the communities we serve. As we grapple with the outrage -- and yes -- fear generated by the Trump decision, our first job is to make sure that we do all we can to ensure our students feel safe and can learn inside our walls, that we do as much as possible to provide resources and support for our families, and that we stand up and are vocal in the fight to find a solution that honors the intent of DACA.
At Green Dot Public Schools, we serve all students. And all means all. As an organization focused on changing the odds for students across the nation, we believe it is our responsibility to foster school environments where students and families feel safe and supported. To ensure this, we have not and will not collect information related to student and family immigration status. Our staff will protect our students’ privacy rights to the greatest extent of the law. And we will work with staff and families to ensure they have the information and the resources they need to address concerns or questions about immigration policies.
Below is information about the repeal, immediate steps DACA recipients should take, and what you can do to help secure a legislative fix to protect Dreamers.
Information on the DACA Repeal:
- The administration is winding down DACA over the next six months.
- The administration will not consider new applications for legal status dated after Sept. 5, 2017. Applications filed before then that are pending will continue to be processed.
- Anyone who has a DACA permit expiring between now and March 5, 2018, can apply for a two-year renewal. That application must be submitted by Oct. 5, 2017.
- Some Dreamers, those with permits that expire between now and March 5, 2018, will be eligible for legal status for another two-plus years. For others, legal status ends as early as March 6, 2018.
Immediate Steps DACA Recipients Should Take:
- Although deportations are not immediate, it is important for DACA recipients to take the steps outlined in our FAQ page before your DACA permit expires.
- We are here to support our families and encourage DACA recipients to attend Know Your Rights forums to get as much information as possible.
Support a Legislative Fix to a Legalize DACA:
- We are urging Congress to pass – and the president to sign – the Durbin-Graham DREAM Act of 2017. Please call your Congressional representatives today to share your support of the bill.
- You can also connect directly with your members of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the DREAM Act of 2017.
CEO, Green Dot Public Schools National