Defending DACA

California is home to more than 200,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients who have contributed to our cultural vibrancy and the economic growth of our communities. They are part of the nearly 800,000 immigrants nationwide protected under the DACA program who live, work, and study in the United States. America is their home and we must stand with them.

There are indications that the President will end the DACA immigration program. While this threat looms, DACA recipients are at risk of losing their homes — the only homes many have ever known — and of being separated from their family and friends.

As if moral reasons were not enough to defend the program, DACA recipients significantly boost the national economy. Without them, the United States is expected to lose $460.3 billion from the national gross domestic product over the next decade. And DACA’s elimination would put a staggering 700,000 jobs at risk.

Our friend and colleague is a DACA recipient. At nine years old, Jazmin and her family crossed the border from Mexico to California. Active in immigrant rights, she was instrumental in helping to create and launch our Rapid Response Fund in November 2016. The creation of this fund is one of the many actions we have taken to deploy resources to immigrant legal service groups and community-based organizations to educate the immigrant community in our region on their rights, legal options, and how to prepare their families for this new environment. The termination of the DACA program is yet another serious threat to the safety and freedom of DACA recipients and, ultimately, to all of us.

It is the diversity of our nation and the San Francisco Bay Area that makes us strong. We stand with Jazmin and the immigrant community. If you would like to join us, here are ways to take action:

  1. Give: We have noted giving suggestions below.
  2. Advocate: Call your member of Congress to support DACA recipients.
  3. Volunteer: Connect with organizations to be part of a larger social justice community.
  4. Engage: Show your support for young immigrants through social media (#DefendDACA, #HereToStay).

Update: On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced the end of the DACA program. The Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) issued a statement with more than 35 philanthropic partners to denounce the termination of DACA.


Giving Suggestions

If you are moved to action, we recommend giving to the organizations below. These are nonprofits that our foundation has researched and vetted, as well as supported with our own grantmaking dollars. If you prefer, you can make a grant to our Rapid Response Fund and we will deploy your dollars quickly to address the most urgent needs.

Supporting Community Organizing Efforts

California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance (CIYJA)
CIYJA is a leading organization in California committed to improving the lives of immigrant youth and their families. CIJYA is an immigrant, youth-led, statewide alliance that advocates for immigrant rights and organizes against the mass incarceration and deportation of immigrant families. They are currently supporting undocumented youth by providing emotional support and resources for mental health services to deal with the anxiety of losing protection from deportation. The San Francisco Foundation is supporting the CIJYA with a grant from our Power Pathway.

ASPIRE – Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (ALC)
ASPIRE, the first pan-Asian undocumented immigrant youth led project in the country, is housed at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – ALC in San Francisco. The mission of ASPIRE is to empower undocumented Asian Pacific Islander youth and young adults to educate, advocate and mobilize for the rights of immigrant families. The San Francisco Foundation is supporting the ASPIRE program with a grant from the Rapid Response Fund.

United We Dream Network, Inc.
United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation made up of over 100,000 immigrant youth and allies across the nation. They are one of the leading organizations defending DACA and demanding the current administration to keep the DACA program intact and to protect 800,00 immigrant youth from deportation.

Supporting Immigrant Students

Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC)
E4FC empowers undocumented young people to achieve educational and career goals. Currently, E4FC is playing a critical role in providing timely information and guidance on how to prepare if DACA is terminated. The organization is also urging immigrant youth to get involved and join advocacy efforts to defend DACA.E4FC received a Community Leadership Award from The San Francisco Foundation in 2013.

Undocumented Student Program, University of California at Berkeley (USP)
The Undocumented Student Program provides guidance and support to undocumented students at UC Berkeley. The mission of the Undocumented Student Program is to support the advancement of undocumented students within higher education and promote pathways for engaged scholarship. The San Francisco Foundation is supporting the program with a grant from the Rapid Response Fund.

Supporting Advocacy and Legal Services

In addition to the ACLU of Northern California, we recommend the following organizations:

Centro Legal de la Raza
Centro Legal is a comprehensive legal services agency that advances the rights of immigrant, low-income, and Latino communities throughout Northern and Central California. Centro Legal serves the immigrant community through community education, legal representation, and advocacy.  The San Francisco Foundation is currently supporting Centro Legal to provide legal screening, Know Your Rights workshops, and deportation defense.

National Immigration Law Center (NILC)
Established in 1979, NILC is one of the leading organizations in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants. For decades, NILC has been at the forefront of many of the country’s greatest challenges when it comes to immigration issues. They play a major leadership role at the national level in addressing the real-life impact of policies that affect immigrant families.

Support of DACA Renewals

Mission Asset Fund
Mission Asset Fund (MAF) offers financial stability to low-income families by facilitating zero-interest lending and credit building, helping immigrants overcome financial hurdles and begin to increase their economic mobility. MAF has launched a DACA Renewal Fund to help eligible  Dreamers renew their DACA status by the Oct 5, 2017 deadline. About 154,000 Dreamers will need to submit their renewal application at a cost of $495 by this date in order to extend their protection from deportation for another two years. The fund will provide zero-interest loans to Dreamers who cannot afford this fee. The San Francisco Foundation awarded a grant to Mission Asset Fund in 2017.

Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC)
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center is a national immigrant rights organization based in San Francisco that provides legal services to immigrants of every nationality throughout the Bay Area, while simultaneously working on policy change at the local, state and national level. ILRC is currently seeking funds to cover the renewal fee for DACA students who are eligible to renew their status, but cannot afford the $495 fee. The foundation funded ILRC in 2016 through our equity grantmaking program.

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2 Comments

  1. Hugo Morales

    Fred, thank you for taking the correct courageous stand at this difficult time for immigrants and our country on a lot of different fronts.

  2. Mitchell Salazar

    Fred I ditto what Hugo Morales shared regarding your comments. We need leadership like yours to keep this issue front and center as Washington does what they do.

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