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Dreamer Awareness Month

Dreamer Awarness Month

March 03, 2023

UNC celebrates DREAMer Awareness Month during March.  

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was established by President Barack Obama in 2012 to provide temporary protection from deportation to individuals who were brought to the United States as children without proper documentation. Since then, DACA has been a highly debated and contested program, with a range of legal challenges and policy changes affecting its status.  

Currently, DACA remains a controversial topic in the United States, with several ongoing issues that have significant implications for its recipients and their families.  

In 2017, President Donald Trump announced plans to end the program, arguing that it was an unconstitutional overreach of executive authority. This decision was challenged in court, and in 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration had failed to provide an adequate justification for ending the program, allowing it to continue. However, the ruling did not provide a clear path for the program's future, leaving it vulnerable to further legal challenges and political uncertainty. 

While the program provides temporary relief from deportation and work authorization to eligible individuals, it does not offer a pathway to citizenship or permanent legal status. This means that DACA recipients remain in a state of limbo, with no clear path to fully integrating into American society or accessing the same rights and opportunities as citizens. This limitation also affects the ability of DACA recipients to travel outside of the United States or re-enter the country if they leave, further limiting their ability to fully participate in the global economy and engage with their families and communities abroad.  

Finally, DACA faces ongoing political challenges that threaten its future. While the Supreme Court ruling in 2020 provided some measure of relief for DACA recipients, the program remains vulnerable to political attacks and changes in policy. In the current political climate, with deep divisions and entrenched opposition to immigration reform, it is uncertain whether DACA will continue to be protected or whether it will face further legal and political challenges in the years to come. 

 UNC has many resources for our undocumented student population, one of the most beneficial is the DREAMer Engagement Program (DEP) which is designed to help students enroll and participate in university life at UNC. 

DREAMer/Undocumented students transition into their first year at UNC. Students who have Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and those with no status can become a part of the DREAMER Engagement Program. Students attending a college or university for the first time or are considered a transfer student to UNC are encouraged to participate. This program offers support by connecting students to other campus services, legal support, DACA renewal services, admissions, financial aid, and scholarship services. UNITE invites UNC students, staff, and faculty to attend the DREAMer Zoneworkshops intended to build awareness around the lived experiences of DREAMers on the UNC campus. 

 Take action: 

We look forward to this month of educational events, celebration, and learning. For additional education and personal development related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, please find other sources located under DDEI Education and Resources on the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion site and UNC Libraries under DEI & Antiracism Resources.