This morning the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments on two of President Obama’s important executive actions providing administrative relief from immigration enforcement: Deferred Action for Parents of American-born Children (DAPA) and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA+). The case will determine the future of millions of undocumented immigrants in the United State hoping for relief from the threat of deportation that would rip their families apart.
In the absence of Congressional action, DAPA and DACA+ would improve the lives of undocumented immigrants with deep ties to the community. Although these programs are not perfect, they would provide undocumented immigrants with options to live and work in the United States. And—more importantly—they will help keep families together.
On the steps of the Supreme Court building, more than 4,000 people gathered this morning from across the country for a rally, voicing their support through chants, poster signs, and a march. ECMHSP joins the many organizations standing in support of the president’s actions. According to Farmworker Justice, one in six beneficiaries of DAPA and DACA+ will be farmworkers or directly related to farm work. This includes many of the farmworker families we serve at ECMHSP centers.
Take Maria Adame Dominguez’s story for example. Maria immigrated to the United States at the age of nine. Although she was a bright student at school, Maria became discouraged when she realized her options to continue her studies were limited due to her undocumented status. She decided to drop out of school, and shortly after having her first son, she joined her father in the mushroom fields. When she enrolled her son
in the ECMHSP Head Start program, she became involved in the ECMHSP governance and quickly rose through the ranks; in 2014, she was elected as the ECMHSP Policy Council President. Although Maria continued to work in the fields, she never gave up on her dreams of earning a college degree. After receiving her DACA, she enrolled back in school and is currently studying to earn her Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Management. In addition, Maria applied to work at the very ECMHSP Head Start center that helped her family, and is now the Family Service Coordinator with Pathstone Corporation, a delegate agency of ECMHSP. [You can read Maria’s full story, “A Parent’s Dream,” in the ECMSHP’s 2015 Annual Report.]