DACA was created in 2012 to protect young immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors and consider this country their home. Under the program, immigrant youth who meet certain requirements are protected against deportation and can access some legal rights. Immigrants with DACA status can get work permits that must be renewed every two years.
In California, DACA recipients can also:
- Get a driver’s license
- Be eligible for financial aid opportunities to pay for college
- Get free health care through Medi-Cal and other social services if they meet the income requirements
Since the start of program, more than 800,000 immigrant youth have signed up for DACA, nearly 60% went on to enroll into college and almost 30% have obtained a college degree.
Without DACA protections, immigrant youth may once again be forced to live in the shadows. Congress must act quickly to protect immigrant teens and young adults so they can continue their education and live peacefully.
It is very important that young people stand up and make their voices heard on this issue. Congress needs to know that you care about young immigrants and you want them to protect immigrants. Actions you can take to help:
- Call your member of Congress and tell them to protect Dreamers
- Attend a DACA Solidarity event near you
- Stay informed and speak out! You can do that by sharing why you think DACA is important on social media with the hashtag #HereToStay.
Resources for DACA Youth
If you are or know a DACA recipient, know that you still have rights. Check out these resources to answer questions you may have:
- Top 5 Things to Know About DACA Ending: http://weareheretostay.org/resources/daca-update-five-things-you-should-know/
- Know Your Rights – National Immigration Law Center: https://www.nilc.org/issues/immigration-enforcement/everyone-has-certain-basic-rights/
- Get legal help: http://www.cdss.ca.gov/Benefits-Services/More-Services/Immigration-Services/Immigration-Services-Contractors
- Mental Health Emergency Toolkit: http://weareheretostay.org/resources/mental-health-emergency-toolkit/
Your Health Care Rights – Regardless of Immigration Status
- Low-income undocumented kids and DACA recipients under the age of 19 in California can sign up for Medi-Cal.
- If you are over 19 and can’t sign up for health coverage, you can still get low-cost health care at any of these community clinics.
- Undocumented/DACA teens of any age and adults can get confidential, free sexual and reproductive health services through the Family PACT program at any of these clinics.
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This blog was reposted from TeenSource.org, a project of Essential Access Health. TeenSource.org is an online hub for comprehensive and teen-friendly information on birth control, STDs, relationships and teen’s rights to accessing sensitive services. The site features youth-developed blogs and videos, a clinic finder, a Condom Access Project and links to TeenSource social media where youth can stay updated on relevant sexual and reproductive health information and news.