Note to Teacher: It is important to reflect on and consider that you may have students in your classroom who are immigrants, undocumented immigrants, and/or have family members who are undocumented immigrants or DACA recipients. Be prepared and sensitive to those students, taking into consideration the extent to which they are a minority or majority of your classroom and plan accordingly. Further, it is possible that if the students have not shared this previously, they may disclose it during the course of the lesson. That information should only come from the student directly and young people do not always feel comfortable sharing this information with other people. If you have students in your class who fit into either of these categories and actually want to discuss their situations, talk with them in advance and determine the best way for them to discuss this topic while feeling comfortable and safe.
Do you know what DACA (Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals) is? Can you guess based on the words? Do you know who “DREAMers” are and why they are called that?
On September 5, 2017, President Trump ordered an end to the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program shields some young undocumented immigrants —who often arrived at a very young age in circumstances beyond their control—from deportation. The President also urged Congress to pass a replacement before the administration begins phasing out DACA’s protections in six months. This means that as early as March 2018, some of the 800,000 young adults brought to the U.S. as children who qualify for the program, will become eligible for deportation and lose access to education and work visas.
• The DREAM Act was a bill introduced in Congress before 2010 that was meant to address the needs of undocumented young people who grew up in the United States and came to this country from other countries as children—often in circumstances beyond their control. These young people have grown up as Americans, identify themselves as Americans, and many speak only English and have no memory of or connection with the country where they were born. Under current immigration law, most of these young people had no way to gain legal residency even though they have lived in the U.S. most of their lives, many graduating from high school. The DREAM Act would have provided a pathway to U.S. citizenship to certain undocumented youth who go to college and/or join the armed services as well as remained in good standing with the law. There have been a few versions of the DREAM Act introduced in Congress (the first one in 2001) but none have passed.
- deferred action
Compelling Question: Should DACA be saved?
- What did you learn that you didn’t know before?
- What did you learn about some of the people whose lives were impacted by DACA?
- Why did the Trump administration decide to rescind DACA?
- Why is DACA referred to as a new embodiment of the “American Dream?”
- What will be lost if DACA is rescinded and Congress doesn’t come up with legislation to address
- DREAMers’ situation?
- After reading the information above, what are your thoughts about DACA and what should happen next?
The content of this TNTL has been used with permission from the ADL. You can access the full lesson and all accompanying resources here.