With the election of Donald J. Trump in 2016, undocumented immigrants across the country collectively held their breath. No one knew just what would become of the millions of people living in the United States without documentation.
Since then the President has enacted a number of executive orders meant to target immigrants. From limiting access to asylum to increasing the number of ICE officers, the current administration has made its intentions clear in regard to undocumented immigrants.
Even DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients, who received protection from deportation and the right to work permits under President Barack Obama back in 2012, are now facing challenges from harsh immigration policies. Because DACA recipients never received citizenship like they would have if the proposed DREAM Act would have passed, many are facing the same challenges as their undocumented parents.
Thankfully, there are a number of resources out there to help DACA recipients
United We Dream
United We Dream is the largest youth-led immigrant organization in the country. They are known for their successful petitions to get falsely imprisoned immigrants out of detention facilities, but the group does so much more than that.
From education equity resources for DACA recipients and other immigrants to protections for LGBTQ community members and even educational certificate programs, United We Dream does it all. One of the best projects United We Dream has undertaken lately is their new research & publications department. There you can find a wealth of research and reports about everything from ICE raids to systemic racism in education.
MPOWER Financing is one of the few private lenders who provide student loans and scholarships for DACA students. The organization prides itself on being able to provide loans and scholarships and loans for immigrants without the need for a cosigner, collateral, or even credit history.
On top of that MPOWER offers free visa support letters and exclusive career strategy services for all DACA students who they work with. It’s rare to find a private lender that actually cares. Giving loans to DACA students without proof of income or collateral is a risk most private lenders simply won’t take. MPOWER believes, above all, in the potential of students, no matter their current financial situation. That’s refreshing.
Immigrants Rising is an organization that empowers undocumented immigrants and their families. They are one of the few organizations around that actually gives direct financial support(not a loan, a gift) to undocumented immigrants in need.
They also provide educational resources for Daca recipients and their families so they can better understand their rights.
The number one goal of immigrants rising, however, is to help young immigrants receive grants, scholarships, and fellowships for both undergrad and graduate studies.
The Informed Immigrant is another organization designed to help undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. The group provides everything from assistance with DACA renewals to a guide and resource library which is continually refreshed with the latest guidance and materials from respected organizations like the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The informed immigrant also helps immigrants with current immigration-related charges find trusted lawyers, social workers, and service providers for in-person support and guidance.
Finally, Generation Progress is an organization that advocates for a number of issues from gun control to climate change. Recently they moved to support undocumented students and immigrants post-election.
The organization is the youth-led arm of The Center for American Progress, a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America for all.
Generation Progress has been focused on helping young undocumented students and DACA recipients for the past few years. They even provide examples of petition letters that were successful in helping to protect undocumented immigrant students at their Universities from ICE and other immigration authorities.
America has always been a land of immigrants. Unfortunately, some of us have forgotten this, instead choosing to continue a tired history of xenophobia and racism. Thankfully, not everyone in the U.S is anti-immigrant.
In fact, according to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center, the majority of Americans still believe that immigrants strengthen the nation. So, remember you’re not alone. The majority of America is behind you, and you have the support of all these wonderful organizations.