An Update from Aspire CEO Carolyn Hack:
DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – is the program created by executive order by President Obama in order to shield young undocumented immigrants from deportation. Since 2012, nearly 800,000 “Dreamers” have received DACA protection. Almost a quarter of a million Dreamers are in California – the largest number in any state. Approximately 80% of all DACA recipients are from Mexico, but many more countries are represented. They are students, employees, parents, military members, and more – working toward the dream of a better future here in the United States. Many Dreamers were so young when they came here that they have no memory of anywhere else.
We know that our Aspire community is stronger, richer, kinder, smarter, and more vibrant because of Dreamers and the broader immigrant community. We have always fiercely welcomed immigrants, and we want to see a world where they are warmly welcomed into this country as a whole.
Though we do NOT keep lists with DACA information, it is safe to assume that many individuals and families we have served and many people who work in our schools, regional offices, and the Home Office have benefited from DACA. We believe deeply in the program – in what it stands for and in what it makes possible for hundreds of thousands of deserving individuals.
Along with our peers at other CMOs and public school districts, we have been carefully tracking DACA’s status under the Trump administration and advocating for the protection of Dreamers over the past few months. In March, the Aspire Board passed a resolution affirming Aspire’s commitment to serving all students, including undocumented students. I joined a coalition of governors, statewide constitutional officers, mayors, state legislators, local elected officials, businesses, entrepreneurs, law enforcement professionals, and faith and civic leaders in a letter in support of Dreamers. And, I, along with other senior team members from Aspire, will be going to Washington D.C. in October to advocate directly for a long-term solution for Dreamers.
I have been buoyed by the work our regional teams and school sites have done to demonstrate to our immigrant families that they are welcome and safe at our schools. From hosting immigration workshops to ensuring that family emergency cards are up to date, the work being done is important and inspiring. I sincerely thank all of your for your deep commitment to serving all of our students and families irrespective of their immigration status.
Over the next few months, we will intensify our efforts to support our students, to advocate for Dreamers, and to keep our schools safe places for learning. We commit to:
- Standing with Dreamers and their families;
- Maintaining safe schools where all students and families feel well-known and deeply supported; and
- Adopting policies and practices consistent with our commitment to keeping our immigrant community safe within our walls.
The next few months will be critical for us as a nation, particularly as we push toward a successful DREAM Act. We know that this is one of the most significant legal challenges many of our students, families, and teammates have ever faced. Please join me in spreading the message that Aspire is fully committed to all Dreamers and is working alongside many other passionate groups nationwide for a permanent, legal option for Dreamers to remain in this country.