Support DACA Students

CSF Scholar Ray Corona speaks about his
experience as a DACA recipient.

Read the original Seattle City Club Article here.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an American immigration policy allowing some individuals who entered the country as minors, and had either entered or remained in the country illegally, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and to be eligible for a work permit. As of 2017, approximately 800,000 individuals—referred to as Dreamers after the DREAM Act bill—were enrolled in the program created by DACA. The policy was established by the Obama administration in June 2012 and rescinded by the Trump administration in September 2017.

How important has DACA been for you and other Dreamers?

Ray: DACA has opened up many opportunities for myself and other immigrant youth across the US. I had the opportunity to graduate from the University of Washington and immediately enter the workforce. My first job after college was as an admissions advisor for the University of WA Bothell Campus. My ability to have a livable job with benefits allowed me to provide for myself, my family, and have healthcare benefits through my employer. Even with the Affordable Care Act, DACA recipients are not eligible to receive healthcare coverage unless it’s through their employers.

DACA provided me and many other Dreamers with a sense of security and normalcy. Many of us have been in the US for over a decade but have always lived in fear of the authorities due to our immigration status. DACA also enabled us to take on new opportunities, such as studying abroad (by filing and paying for an advance parole application), receiving our first form of identification (driver license), or even opening a bank account. Of course, DACA was only a temporary solution and many of us were aware of that, constantly living and planning our lives in two year increments.

What is the biggest misconception about DACA and Dreamers?

Ray: The biggest misconception about DACA and undocumented folks in general is that people can adjust their legal status if they just go file paperwork and get in line. This is definitely not true as immigration laws have not evolved to keep up with the globalization of our world. Adjusting your immigration status depends on many factors including which country you come from, your age, economic status, mental capacity, marital status, and potentially even your geographic location in the US due to the availability of lawyers in your area.

You recently spoke at our Civic Boot Camp focused on immigration and provided advice to participants on how to support the immigrant community. What action should people take to support DACA and Dreamers in light of recent events?

Ray: I believe the general public needs to understand the complexities of immigration before we can take action. The issues that have been created in the US with our undocumented population is because of profits. Not to mention the role that special interests have played within our political system and the disconnect caused by elected officials who are unwilling to pass solutions.

Express your support for the DACA program and urge Congress to pass legislation in a timely legislation to allow these individuals to continue to be productive members of our communities. Contact your Congressional representatives, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:

Contact you representative in the House of Representatives.

Washington Senators:

Leadership:

For more information: