Dream Advocacy Toolkit

Messaging And Resources for bipartisan Dream legislation.

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This Dream advocacy toolkit is for college and university leaders and their campuses to advocate on behalf of Dreamers.  Recent court rulings against DACA underscore the urgency for Congress to act before the end of this year to protect DACA recipients and other Dreamers.

Contents:

For questions, please contact diego@presidentsalliance.org

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Contact Congress

The Presidents’ Alliance developed this Template Letter to Congress for Higher Ed Institutions for colleges and universities (individually or as a group of institutions in a state) to adapt and send to their Senate delegations urging bipartisan compromise to provide protection and a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, and other Dreamers.

For Presidents who wish to contact Senators directly and need contact information for key staffers for Senate offices, visit this spreadsheet to find your Congress Member’s staffer information (note: you can either use the tab for Immigration Legislative Assistants (LAs) or Legislative Directors (LDs). 

Senate Letter

If your institution does not have the capacity for a formal letter, here is a draft you can use for email outreach:

Dear Senator [Name]:

As [President/Chancellor] of [institution], which enrolls [number] of students and employs [number] of individuals, I write to respectfully urge you to prioritize passing bipartisan legislation before the end of this year to provide permanent protections for DACA recipients and other Dreamers.  At a time of labor shortages, inflation, and diminished economic growth, we need the talents of the DACA workforce and these Dreamers. 

I have seen firsthand Dreamers’ immense contributions to our campuses and communities. Many of them have gone on to become highly valued employees, employers, military members, faith leaders, and founders of thriving businesses. These individuals — Americans in every sense but on paper — seek only what we want for all our children: the opportunity to pursue their studies, work in our communities, and meaningfully contribute to our country.  

Hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients are employed in jobs deemed essential by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Expanding opportunities for Dreamers is not only good for them and their families, but also for our economy and country as a whole. If and when DACA is eliminated, an estimated 1,000 U.S. jobs will be lost every business day over two years. We cannot afford to wait until the final blow is struck to this program by the courts. 

More than 400,000 undocumented students are pursuing U.S. higher education, launching careers, and contributing to their communities and states. But, the majority of these students currently lack DACA protections and opportunities. Although nearly 100,000 undocumented students graduate high school each year, only one-quarter are estimated to be eligible for DACA. By enabling these young people to work, America can truly benefit from their talent. We have invested in Dreamers for decades and paid for their education in public schools. If we want America to continue to benefit from Dreamers, Congress must act this year. 

If the Senate fails to act, employers and communities will lose valuable contributors. Families, including many households of mixed status individuals with U.S.-born children, will suffer the grievous loss of their homes, businesses and self-sufficiency. Congress alone can avert this looming crisis by passing bipartisan legislation to protect Dreamers and address other immigration priorities.

I urge you to support a bipartisan compromise to protect Dreamers so that these individuals can join with the students and neighbors they grew up with in achieving their educational goals,  meeting the workforce needs of our nation,  and contributing to their fullest potential.

Sincerely,

(your name)

Talking Points: DACA and Dreamers – What You Need to Know

The United States is home to more than 400,000 undocumented students in higher education, including 181,000 DACA-eligible individuals. This means that one out of every 50 students in a college or university is undocumented. Congress must pass a permanent, legislative solution to ensure undocumented students and other Dreamers can stay in the U.S. and continue to contribute to their communities. 

The recent Fifth Circuit Court ruling underscores that the future of Dreamers is in extreme jeopardy.  On October 5, 2022, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled DACA unlawful, and sent the case back to Judge Hanen for a ruling on the merits of the DHS DACA regulation. On October 14, Judge Hanen issued an order saying his 2021 ruling against DACA would also apply to the new DACA regulations, temporarily allowing renewals to continue but preventing new applications from being processed. It is unclear when Judge Hanen will rule on the legality of the new regulations, with the case expected to end up before the U.S. Supreme Court. We cannot afford to wait until the final blow is struck to this program by the courts.

Across the U.S., more 2.7 million Dreamers, including about 600,000 DACA recipients, have built lives, worked in key jobs and occupations, and started families. Dreamers are an integral part of their communities. Congress must pass a permanent, legislative solution this year. 

Importance of DACA & Dreamers

  • DACA has been transformative: DACA has been one of the most successful immigration initiatives in modern history and demonstrates why expanded opportunities for Dreamers strengthens America.
  • Even so, it is not enough: Having a temporary program constantly challenged in the courts has negatively impacted DACA recipients. Additionally, the majority of undocumented students in higher education and pursuing their studies and contributing to their campuses and communities lack DACA protections and opportunities. We need a strong bipartisan solution for DACA recipients and other Dreamers.

Who are the Dreamers

  • Dreamers are part of the fabric of our country and deserve to be recognized as the Americans they are.
  • Dreamers are American in every way, except on paper. They came to the U.S. on average at the age of seven, and have lived in the United States for an average of 22 years. They grew up in American neighborhoods and went to American schools. Now, they are doctors, nurses, teachers, and engineers, many of whom are working in essential roles that helped respond and recover from the public health and economic crisis of COVID-19.

Higher Education

  • A majority of undocumented students entering higher education are NOT eligible for DACA. And, nearly 100,000 undocumented students are graduating high school annually, but only a quarter of them are estimated to be eligible for DACA.

Dreamers and the Economy

Urgent Need for Permanent Relief

  • There is a short window for a bipartisan compromise before the end of the year, and legislation protecting Dreamers should be one of the top priorities.
  • The end of DACA would hurt our nation’s workforce and economy, leading to unnecessary terminations, turnover costs by employers, and chaos as hundreds of thousands of employed individuals are forced to leave their jobs.

Social Media: Graphics and sample tweets

Undocumented students are a cornerstore of our college and university communities across the United States. With the future of DACA endangered, it is imperative that Congress passes a permanent, legislative solution to ensure undocumented students and other Dreamers can remain in the U.S. and contribute fully to their communities. We’re calling on Congress to protect Dreamers by passing bipartisan Dream legislation this year. 

Find several infographics and sample social media posts below, along with other ideas and resources, to help you and your campus show your support for Dreamers.

Social Media Toolkit

Sample Social Media Posts for Institutions:

Bipartisan Dream legislation

We stand with #Dreamers and #DACA students and colleagues at [INSTITUTION] & call on Congress to pass bipartisan Dream legislation this year! #IStandWithDreamers #PassDreamerBill #ProtectDreamers

[INSTITUTION] and #HigherEd stand with Dreamers. We need a permanent, legislative solution this year. #PassDreamerBill #ProtectDreamers

#DACA was never meant to be permanent. We need bipartisan Dream legislation this year! #PassDreamerBill #ProtectDreamers  #IStandWithDreamers

Dreamers have been living with uncertainty for too long. They deserve stability. The only path forward is for Congress to pass Dream legislation before the end of the year.  #PassDreamerBill #ProtectDreamers

Time is ticking for Congress to pass Dream legislation! ⏰This week, [INSTITUTION] is standing with undocumented students by sending a message to Congress to demand action before the year ends. #PassDreamerBill #ProtectDreamers

Contact Congress

  • Share the Take Action site from Remember the Dreamers. ACE has updated its site to reflect the current urgency and ask of Congress.
  • Participate in Education Week of Action during the week of November 28th, including a Tweetstorm on November 29 (register HERE) to urge Congress to protect Dreamers.

Infographics to Accompany Your Social Media

  • Higher Ed Stands With Dreamers Graphic can be found HERE.

  • Higher Ed Stands With Dreamers Graphic can be found HERE.

Additional Resources and Ideas

  • DACA & Dreamers – What You Need to Know: See HERE for more information on DACA and Dreamers.
  • Talking Points: See HERE for Americans Want Congress to Protect Dreamers This Year.
  • Write to Congress: Use our template letter HERE to urge Congress, especially the Senate, to pass bipartisan Dream legislation this year.
  • Resources to Support DACA recipients, undocumented students, Dream legislation, and institutions of higher education: View directory of President’s Alliance materials, including resources, advocacy tools, and best practices HERE
  • DACA/Dreamers Op-Ed Content Ideas and Resources: State and local op-eds and other first person testimonials from college and university leaders are an important part of the larger legislative advocacy push. Find templates HERE.
  • Record and share a short video on your social media channels: Your campus can film a short, 30-second video about why you stand with Dreamers and support a permanent solution before the end of the year, and share it on social media, using the hashtags highlighted in the sample social media posts.

Resources: Presidents’ Alliance and Partners

The Presidents’ Alliance recommends the following  key resources and materials developed by our organization,  partners, and others that provide helpful information regarding a Dream legislative solution in 2022.

Directory of Presidents’ Alliance Resources to Support DACA Recipients, Undocumented Students, and Others: This directory page contains a list of all of the Presidents’ Alliance’s materials, including resources, advocacy tools, and best practices, to help institutions of higher education to support Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, undocumented students, and other Dreamers (Presidents’ Alliance, November 2022).

Social Media Toolkit: Show Your Support for Dreamers: This page provides  several infographics and sample social media posts, along with other ideas and resources, to help colleges and universities show their support for Dreamers and a legislative solution this year.(Presidents’ Alliance, November 2022). 

Beyond DACA: A Directory of Resources for Undocumented Students & Individuals: A directory to provide the most recent resources to support undocumented students and individuals access and afford college, start their professional careers, and receive legal support and mental health support, among other types of resources (Higher Ed Immigration Portal, October 2022). 

Remember the Dreamers:  A website with resources for families and students, data on DACA and Dreamers and an action site to contact Congress.