Our vision at Parents as Teachers is that all children will learn, grow and develop to realize their full potential. The decision by this Administration to terminate the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program will make that vision harder to realize. As a universal access home-visiting model with programs in all 50 states, Parents as Teachers is committed to working in any community and with any family during the crucial early years of their children’s lives, regardless of where the child or parents were born.
DACA recipients—Dreamers, as they are frequently called—were brought to the United States as babies or young children with no say in the matter. They grew up here, attended school here, go to college here, are employed here, pay taxes here and many have had children of their own here. Under DACA these individuals gained needed protections from deportation. Nearly a quarter of DACA participants have at least one American-born child. (1)
Without the protections granted under the DACA program, these families are forced to consider and plan for the worst: a parent or both parents being deported, being away from their children and the only home they have ever known. Parental involvement and engagement is paramount to the healthy growth and development of a child. The reality of parent being abruptly taken from their home, or even the threat of that happening creates high levels of stress and anxiety in the home. When parents are forced to confront these damaging realities, it becomes incredibly challenging to ensure their children are able to thrive. Parents might be reluctant to seek outside services for support and may not be able to dedicate time to encourage the healthy development of their child. We cannot afford to jeopardize the health, safety and well-being of this vulnerable group of children and families.
At Parents as Teachers, we stand with the Dreamers and our partner agencies across the country who are committed to diversity and inclusion and demand legislative action to ensure a pathway to citizenship for these individuals. Every child has the right to be able to learn, grow and develop to realize their full potential, and as a country we need to protect that right, not diminish it.
Parents as Teachers National Center
1 Results from Tom K. Wong et al., 2017 National DACA Study