Resources for Supporting DACA/Dreamer Individuals in their Quest for Health, Education, and Independence
In 2012, the United States government announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, giving certain rights and protections to hundreds of thousands of people who entered the country as children and met specific criteria. As the years have passed, legislation has changed and altered the program. However, currently, there are still recipients of DACA who need support in healthcare, education, and legal protections as they work to enjoy the benefits of living in the only country they know.
As of December 2022, more than 580,000 recipients of DACA live in the United States. Most DACA recipients have graduated high school, and over half have attended postsecondary education. Many recipients of DACA say they have pursued further education and work opportunities than if they had remained undocumented. There are still 12 million undocumented individuals in the United States, and efforts to block or dismantle DACA have put their status into question.
Recipients of DACA are often called Dreamers because they ‘dream' of a life with full rights in the United States. Dreamers' advocacy resonates with social justice professionals since it integrates the well-being and fundamental rights of vulnerable and minority populations. Advocating for legislative solutions, better healthcare access, and more robust educational support are all ways to support Dreamers and their contributions to society. In particular, social workers, education professionals, healthcare workers, and people in business have the power to create the most change as their roles are consistent with supporting individual growth, worth, and development, and they all help to ensure these individuals are treated with dignity and respect.
Dreamers/DACA Mental Health
United We Dream launched this initiative to help the undocumented with their mental health needs through webinars, a mental health toolkit, and other resources.
Immigrants Rising offers many mental health resources that include a tool to connect dreamers with mental health professionals and support groups.
This piece from Rice University looks at the rise of stress and other mental health conditions after President Trump ended the DACA program.
Check out this article that focuses on the mental health struggles among young immigrants from Latin nations upon coming to the US>
Released in 2017, this journal article looks at the effects of the DACA program and how it impacted individuals’ physical and mental health.
Learn more about the overall effects of the DACA program in this piece, especially in terms of overall health, access, and health insurance costs.
The APA published this article in the wake of President Trump’s decision to address the mental health needs of Dreamers who received DACA benefits.
This study looks at what happened after the end of DACA, especially the trauma and distress that affected the mental health of recipients.
Published by USF, this study found that recipients of DACA had mental health struggles and issues in the wake of the program’s end.
Immigrants Rising designed this page to show dreamers that mental health support is available, especially online resources and professional help.
Multiple professionals worked on this in-depth guide that helps immigrants see where and how to get help to improve their mental health.
The NLPA created a list of more than ten tips on how dreamers can improve their mental health and help others, along with resources to validate each tip.
This UCSF page goes over how those eligible for DACA can get the help necessary to prevent stress and other factors that impact their mental health.
Dreamers in medical school will find this article helpful as it goes over the impact that changes to the program will have on them in the future.
This thesis, written by a VCF student, focuses on the immigration policy in the US and reviews some of the most recent literature in the field.
This portal makes it easy for undocumented students to determine which states offer financial aid and how to use the funds to pay for college.
Turn to this organization to get free help applying for college, deciding which schools to apply to and attend, and finding money for college.
The HEEF has a scholarship program that is open to all Hispanic students who are first-generation students who live in Orange County with financial need.
Both high school and college students with Hispanic heritage can apply for one of these scholarships, even if they are undocumented or dreamers.
The Dream has a national scholarship program that provides undocumented students with up to $33,000 and an additional $6,000 stipend for other expenses.
Starting in December of each year, you can apply for one of these scholarships for Latino students who attend or plan to attend medical school.
This scholarship is only open to undocumented students because it believes they deserve the right to higher education in the only country they know.
Apply for the Dream Award to receive up to $15,000, which the organization allows you to renew for the next three years to pay for college.
The Global Citizen Scholarship provides financial support for undocumented students in the United States along with international students in Canada.
Find out the requirements for this scholarship and then apply for $3,000 per year for $12,000 to cover your educational expenses.
Latino students living in California and the first in their families to attend college can apply for one of these scholarships, even if they’re undocumented.
MALDEF offers multiple scholarships you can read about and apply for on this page, including some options for undocumented law school students.
The Chicana Latina Foundation designed this scholarship program for female students with leadership experience who want to attend college.
Students can get up to $20,000 through this scholarship program, with a page that goes over how to apply and all the steps you need to take.
This organization offers scholarships for Hispanic and Latino students and annually honors them at a major award ceremony.
This organization provides scholarships to students but also has a lot of free resources for undocumented students who need financial aid.
Students have until November every year to apply for this scholarship, which grants Hispanic winners a prize of $500 to $1,000.
The LULF has both spring and fall scholarships that allow Latino students to get financial help no matter when they begin their educational journey.
Discover the findings from 2022 presented in this PDF to learn more about the access to health care that DACA recipients had to see some of the common challenges.
Joanna Hernandez talks with DACA recipients about the lack of insurance they received from the federal government and how it affects their lives.
The HHS announced a new plan you can read about in this press release to increase the access DACA recipients have to the health care they need.
See immigrants’ challenges regarding health care, like racism and educational issues, in this piece from the National Immigration Law Center.
The National Immigration Law Center released this PDF in 2017 to provide professionals with some tips they can use when helping immigrants apply for health care.
This page offers updates on the DACA program and helps recipients see whether they qualify for healthcare coverage and how to apply for it.
Published in 2023, this researched article looks at the restrictions facing DACA recipients in the United States who need healthcare coverage.
Learn more about the DACA program in this PDF that also looks at their medical challenges and how those with disabilities can get help.
Though this article is a little older, it does an excellent job of reviewing how DACA works, why President Obama started it, and its short-term benefits.
This article takes an in-depth look at DACA’s benefits on the lives of more than 800,000 people and what the future might hold for them.
The minds behind this article used research data from California to determine the connection between birth outcomes and the DACA program.
American Progress released an in-depth look at the economic impact of DACA recipients in 2021, such as the more than $9 billion they pay in annual taxes.
In this helpful PDF fact sheet, discover facts about DACA, such as immigrants’ home countries and ages when they arrived.
This interesting article focuses on the kids who grew up as dreamers and the challenges they had as they grew up, especially well-being and mental health challenges.
Read through some of the stories found here to see what life was like for dreamers under DACA and what they believe the future holds for them.
The researchers behind this piece found proof that a lack of education among DACA recipients significantly impacted the labor market in recent years.
More than 400 people talked with the authors of this article to discuss their lives under DACA, which the authors then used to analyze the program.
Informed Immigrant designed a helpful guide that goes over all the steps someone needs to take to find an immigration lawyer in the United States.
Available through Immigrants Rising, this guide goes over the 13 steps needed to renew DACA and includes some tips for applicants.
No matter what type of help you need, you might start on this page, which supplies resources based on your location or the zip code you enter.
If you are on DACA parole and plan to travel outside the US, read this page to see some obstacles and other important info.
Deportation and detention are scary prospects, which is why Informed Immigrant designed a guide to help their loved ones determine their next steps.
Immigrants Rising looks at domestic flights and other transportation options to help undocumented people learn how to travel in the country safely.
The answers to some commonly asked questions are available here, including the meaning of deferred action and how to submit a waiver.
Designed by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, this page covers the DACA fees, the application process, and other important info.
Boundless Immigration created this comprehensive guide to understanding DACA and managing your immigration status, complete with links to necessary forms and documents used to manage your immigration status.
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center has a DACA toolbox and other free resources for Dreamers who want to apply for DACA status.
Designed by the National Immigration Law Center, this guide offers updated information on the program and helps visitors find free legal resources.
The US Department of Justice reminded DACA recipients and their employers that they can keep working as legal challenges persist.
Find updated DACA information here, including updates on the program, renewal costs, and the process for new immigrants to the US.
Homeland Security recently updated its page on DACA to discuss a Texas court case that left the program operational for those who received DACA status before July 2021.
The Texas Legal Clinic wants to keep DACA recipients informed, so it shares updated news on its official site.
The American Immigration Council designed this guide to review DACA basics, including the recipients’ characteristics and the program’s impact.
Find out the current status of DACA from ICE, which tells an individual what to do if they’re in detention or face deportation.
Help is available in English and Spanish from the National Immigrant Justice Center, which partnered with top law firms in Chicago.
The ACLU goes over several situations that might involve dreamers and tells them which steps to take in this detailed online guide.
UWD is one of the most prominent organizations in the world for undocumented people because it offers resources on different defenses, such as education.
Find dozens of resources like fact sheets and informative articles on this page, part of the official National Immigration Forum site.
The National Council on Education helps Dreamers and DACA recipients learn about the latest news on the subject and see some of the organization’s work.
Not only can you get free legal help as a resident of Massachusetts, but this organization also offers regular updates on the DACA program.
The American Immigration Council offers free resources for DACA and DAPA recipients, including press releases, fact sheets, and blog posts.
Go beyond DACA with help from Immigrants Rising, which offers webinars and a directory of resources like making money and attending college.
The ADL helps teachers discuss this program in their classrooms with free lesson plans and an extensive overview of the DACA program.
This video from The New York Times allows dreamers to talk about their experiences and the challenges they’ll face in the future.
The Atlantic created this video to address the future of undocumented doctors because they can no longer practice medicine or help the community.
Though Good Morning America often runs light stories, this one offers a touching look at dreamers and the legal challenges they face.
Available from MSNBC, this video allows a dreamer to talk about her experiences in the US, the issues she faced, and her hopes for the future.
Watch this video to see why some immigrants decided to willingly leave the country instead of waiting for the US to deport them later.
In this video from Forbes, you’ll find out about an American politician who wants to provide citizenship to immigrants who serve in a military branch.
In just over five minutes, this short VOX video describes the DACA program and its benefits in a way anyone can relate to and understand.
KARE 11 designed this video to give viewers an inside look at DACA, how it works, what it does, and the benefits it offers immigrants.