While DACA beneficiaries cannot vote that is not stopping them from educating others to vote against the president.
This article is part of COURIER’s Your Vote 2020 hub. For more stories from each of the battleground states, along with national reporting, visit the site here.
United We Dream Action, the largest immigrant, youth-led community in the country, is building a network to educate voters and empower them to get the President Donald Trump out of office.
Late last month, the organization launched a new team called Here To Stay Squad, a movement made up of young immigrants who will volunteer to mobilize voters to vote out Trump and his Republican anti-immigrant enablers. While many volunteers are undocumented youth protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which prevents them from voting in the elections, that won’t stop them from educating voters.
“[Trump’s] attack on DACA holders is part of his continued attacks on immigrants and people of color,” said Juanita A. Monsalve, senior marketing and creative director of United We Dream Action. “By limiting DACA renewals from two years to one, it’s clear Trump is trying to make it easier to deport more and more young people, should he win reelection in November. We aren’t going to let that happen.”
This election season, voting outreach will look very different from years past, mainly because of the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 won’t stop people from advocating the right to vote because a majority of the voting volunteer work will be conducted digitally. Volunteers interested in joining the Here To Stay Squad are encouraged to sign up on their website, download the Reach app, and spread the word about voting, especially to people who live in key battleground states.
“We are engaging young immigrant people to engage all over the country,” Adrian Reyna, strategy director of United We Dream Action, said in an interview with The Americano. “Right now, we’re looking at 2,000 people that will sign up in the coming weeks.”
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Reyna said that their goal is to connect with 2,000 volunteers initially, and have that group of people branch out to people in their communities, which could extend the movement to 10,000 more people. But the organization isn’t focusing too much on the numbers now, Reyna said, because the coronavirus has made the situation unpredictable. The organization wants to ensure that its volunteers feel safe conducting outreach and feel confident that none of their information will be compromised.
“The Here To Stay Squad is a space for people like you and I, who are not eligible to vote, because we are immigrant youth, DACA holders, or TPS holders,” United We Dream Action states on their website. “Even though, we can’t vote, we, immigrant youth are a part of this election. It is about us. And we can volunteer together to inform, educate, and motivate voters in our communities and networks.”