In the wake of the White House's recent announcement regarding DACA, many of us feel the need to find ways, big or small, to assist in protecting the rights of the dreamers impacted by these changes. As members of the social work community, we can use several mechanisms for outreach and assistance. We have added a few of them here from CSWE and NASW, and others.
If you have a source for assistance not found on this list, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org to request that it be added. Together, we can make a difference in helping these individuals find their way toward stability and saftey in the coming weeks and months.
E-mails and phone calls are the best way to contact members of Congress when immediate action is needed.
- Writing a letter or an e-mail: Correspondence by e-mail is a popular option for communicating with members of Congress, and e-mail is preferred over regular postal mail. Your e-mail should be written clearly and concisely. Feel free to use some of the bullets below and include some of your personal background. We recommend checking your representative’s or senator’s website, where a form for e-mailing them if often provided.
- Making a telephone call: When preparing to make a telephone call, craft your message clearly and concisely, because you have less time to make your case than if you were drafting an e-mail. It is always helpful to write out a short script of what you would like to say. Again, feel free to use the bullets below. Please note that when calling, you may request to speak with the representative or senator directly, but you will probably be asked to leave a message with a staff member who covers a variety of issues; be prepared with a clear message. You can also ask to leave a message on the appropriate staff voicemail or leave a message and request a return call. Be prepared to provide your address and telephone number.
- Find information to contact your representative here: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
- Find information to contact your senator here: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm.
- In addition to using the House and Senate websites to obtain office phone numbers, you can call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, provide your legislator’s name, and request to be connected with the office.
When contacting your representative or senator about DACA, consider mentioning the following:
- Your concerns about the decision of the Administration to rescind DACA, which will affect more than 800,000 individuals in the United States.
- How DACA has improved the lives of its recipients and their families and had a positive effect on communities throughout the United States.
- That Congress should act quickly on necessary legislative action to maintain DACA and protect these individuals.
- How the decision to rescind DACA would affect you, your school, or your community.
Other Advocacy Efforts: You may also be interested in learning about an effort by FWD.us, which is “mobilizing the tech community to promote policies that keep the U.S. competitive in a global economy, starting with fixing our broken immigration system and criminal justice reform.”
Relevant Background: “In 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began implementing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, which allows youth who were brought to the United States as children and who meet certain criteria to request consideration for deferred action, which constitutes a case-by-case determination by DHS not to pursue an individual’s removal from the United States for an initial two-year period as a matter of prosecutorial discretion. DACA recipients can live and go to school in the United States and may be eligible to obtain work authorization while their deferred action remains in effect.” Source: Supporting Undocumented Youth.
- NASW Advocacy Website (check here for future updates)
- Center for American Progress DACA Website
- Center for American Progress: A New Threat to DACA could cost states billions of dollars
- The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
- Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
- National Education Association
- National Immigration Law Center (NILC)
From Mashable, a leading site on social media trends and impact:
Follow these groups and individuals on social media:
- United We Dream, the largest largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, on Facebook and Twitter.
- Define American, a nonprofit organization that uses storytelling to "transcend politics," on Facebook and Twitter.
- National Immigration Law Center, an advocacy organization for low-income immigrants and their family members, on Facebook and Twitter.
- FWD.us, an organization "mobilizing the tech community" to fix the immigration system, on Facebook and Twitter.
- Women's March, which is coordinating direct action, on Facebook and Twitter.
- ACLU, which is sharing DACA-related news and information about protests around the country, on Facebook and Twitter.
- Cristina Jiménez, cofounder and executive director of United We Dream, on Twitter.
- Jose Antonio Vargas, founder of Define American, on Facebook and Twitter.
- Erika Andiola, political director for Our Revolution, on Twitter.
- Journalist Juan Escalante on Twitter.
- Jonathan Jayes-Green, co-creator of UndocuBlack and an undocumented immigrant, on Twitter.
- Alida Garcia, an organizer at FWD.us, on Twitter.
To give directly to social work students at the University of Houston, go here.