By: Shewit Asgodom

DACA is a program that was created in 2012 by the Obama Administration allowing young people brought to the United States by their parents temporary relief from the possibility of deportation. DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DACA was an American immigration policy that allowed some individuals who entered the country as minors, and had either entered or remained in the country illegally, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and to be eligible for a work visa. Also this program helped about 800,000 immigrants that were promised a better life. The only problem was that DACA had not been legalized by Congress when the new president came into office. The Department of Homeland Security stopped processing any new applications for the program for “security reasons.”  

According to the United States Immigration website, in order to even apply for a Green Card (meaning you might still not be accepted) immigrants must have one of many different requirements. Some of these requirements include:

  • have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, or are an outstanding professor or researcher, or are a multinational manager or executive who meets certain criteria,
  • or be a member of a profession that requires an advanced degree  or a skilled worker,
  • or be an investor investing at least 1 million dollars in a new commercial enterprise,
  • or be related to an adult who is already a U.S. citizen

Also the students affected by DACA not only risk being deported themselves but if they were born here, their parents could deported without them, leaving them alone with no family. Could you imagine living your whole life here then one day your parents have to up and leave the country? People come here to America looking for a better life and a way to provide for their families but to come here you have to have already have a decent life and/or money.

Many of our own Houston ISD  staff are immigrants or have just become citizens, like Ms. Fricsh (Spanish Teacher). Since the repeal, Houston ISD has gotten involved to make sure that kids, parents, and teachers are going to be protected if there was a possibility of deportation. Rebecca Suarez, the Chief Communications Officer of Houston ISD shared very valuable information about these immigrants or “The Dreamers.”

Houston ISD held a DACA Town Hall to discuss the issue and find solutions.   According to Chief Suarez, the purpose was to communicate to the students that education would be provided for every student regardless of legal status.  The repeal of DACA has caused uncertainty and has taken hope away from the staff, students, and parents in the district.  Chief Suarez also said that Houston ISD wanted to give their community hope again which is why they held a Dreamers Summit where the people affected would have somewhere to go, to talk, and to get help if needed. Houston ISD had attorneys present demonstrating that no matter what they were going to help.

With the district on our side there is some hope for our “Dreamers.”

“Together we stand, together we dream.”

(Houston ISD motto)