In 2012, the United States government announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, giving certain rights and protections to hundreds of thousands of people who entered the country as children and met specific criteria. As the years have passed, legislation has changed and altered the program. However, currently, there are still recipients of DACA who need support in healthcare, education, and legal protections as they work to enjoy the benefits of living in the only country they know.
As of December 2022, more than 580,000 recipients of DACA live in the United States. Most DACA recipients have graduated high school, and over half have attended postsecondary education. Many recipients of DACA say they have pursued further education and work opportunities than if they had remained undocumented. There are still 12 million undocumented individuals in the United States, and efforts to block or dismantle DACA have put their status into question.
Recipients of DACA are often called Dreamers because they ‘dream’ of a life with full rights in the United States. Dreamers’ advocacy resonates with social justice professionals since it integrates the well-being and fundamental rights of vulnerable and minority populations. Advocating for legislative solutions, better healthcare access, and more robust educational support are all ways to support Dreamers and their contributions to society. In particular, social workers, education professionals, healthcare workers, and people in business have the power to create the most change as their roles are consistent with supporting individual growth, worth, and development, and they all help to ensure these individuals are treated with dignity and respect.
Advanced Standing MSW has put together a comprehensive list of resources with link to help DACA students. Here is the link to the page with all of those resources: https://www.advancedstandingmsw.com/resources-daca-support/