DACA provides all students with a lesson in social justice

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

  #2 News Story of 2018

Story

1. California is home to more than 270,000 undocumented students enrolled in public school, the largest number in the country.

2. Anxiety levels of undocumented young people are growing due to the Trump administration’s promise to crack down on illegal immigration

3. In September, Trump announced that he would end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) protections this March unless Congress could come up with legislation he could stand behind.

  • DACA was put in place during the Obama administration and allows young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children before turning 16 and before June 2007 to receive a renewable two-year work permit and exemption from deportation.

4. A growing number of California educators are receiving training to become advocates for undocumented students. The aim is to provide resources, including the steps necessary to graduate high school, financial aid information and counseling.


Discussion questions

1. Essential question:  How does the debate over DACA give students and teachers an opportunity to engage civically?

2. Why are teachers independently choosing to receive training about DACA?

3. “Politics should never come in to it when it comes to young people’s education,” stated school board member Cecilia Iglesias. Do you agree or disagree? Explain your response.

4. Can you think of other examples when controversial issues have been taught in schools and used as a tool for learning?

5. Do you see DACA as an issue of social justice? Why or why not?


Key terms

undocumented immigrant — a person present in the U.S. without proper authorization

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) — a U.S. immigration policy ordered by President Obama as an executive action that allows certain undocumented immigrants to the U.S. who entered the country before turning 16 and before June 2007 to receive a renewable two-year work permit and exemption from deportation

Dreamer — a term used to describe young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, who have lived and gone to school here, and who in many cases identify as American (Anti-Defamation League)


Extension activities

1. Dig Deeper: Check out the full lesson plan here: Lesson plan: How DACA demonstrates the importance of civic engagement

2. To explore what immigration looks like at the grassroots levels across the country, watch New Americans produced by Student Reporting Labs. Then complete the following short activity:

  • Choose a video that you find particularly drawn to and highlight the gist of it for your classmates.
  • Explain what the specific issue is and how communities are taking action
  • Ask your classmates if there are similar efforts being made at your school? If not, could your class to start one?

3. The power of public libraries: It may come as a surprise to learn that hundreds of public libraries across the country have programs set up to help immigrants. To explore the issue, give this lesson plan a try, “What public libraries can teach us about immigration.”


Visit PBS NewsHour Extra for more education resources designed to help teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.  @NewsHourExtra

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