Since Trump was elected President, close to 1 million undocumented and DACA-mented youth have been bravely facing serious threats to their future. Trump could terminate DACA. Deportations are ramping up. DREAMers’ ability to get in-state tuition and drivers’ licenses is being attacked at the state level. And because of many obstacles, only 7 percent of undocumented students gain a higher education.
Aliento, an undocumented- and youth-led organization committed to community healing through art and advocacy, is rising to the challenge. Its new campaign will advocate for the welfare of DACA-eligible individuals in Arizona, and aims to protect the DACA program at the state and national level. The organization’s mission is to empower DACA-eligible Arizonans with a pro-educational program and training in leadership, resiliency, healing, mindfulness, and DACA and deportation issues. It will also organize two statewide retreats in 2017 to mobilize and train DACA beneficiaries and advocates.
The DREAMer-led trainings will help DREAMers take their place on the front lines of the movement, holding politicians accountable for protecting young immigrants and their families. The campaign will also mobilize institutions such as churches, business and schools to support DREAMers.
“As a DACA recipient and someone who has endlessly organized for the rights of undocumented immigrants, it was clear that no one is protected under Trump’s mandate,” says Reyna Montoya, founder and executive director of Aliento. “It was clear for Aliento to continue to work with undocumented youth to ensure that they will be prepared to protect our victories, continue to fight for our community, and ensure we are recognizing each others’ resiliency.”