Resources for Faculty
DACA Classroom Resources
With the recent decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, faculty are increasingly searching for resources to help their students in need. In addition to the myriad of important deadlines, processes, and resources of the like that have been provided on our own website for DACA recipients, their families and our community at large, faculty may also be looking for ways to raise awareness and engage in dialogue with their students within their classrooms. BCC is committed to providing opportunities for Civic Learning and this issue could be a great place to begin!
Conversations around controversial or “hot button” issues, which can include topics such as DACA, are often challenging to navigate. As educators, we see the importance and feel the responsibility to teach our students in ways that enhance not only their understanding of the world but equip them with the skills to engage intellectually, personally, and socially with difficult topics.
In an effort to best support you in this process, we have compiled a handful of resources and strategies for you to utilize and adapt for your courses (all below are live links for your convenience):
Before launching into a discussion of DACA, it is important to gauge what your students know and what they think they know. It would be useful to begin a lesson by making a K-W-L chart with your students to help clarify what we know to be true as compared to opinion or rumor. Here’s a resource that might be helpful to you.
Many students will be familiar with the label “DREAMers.” The name comes from the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act which did not get enough votes to pass through Congress. According to the original 2009 bill DREAMers had to meet the following criteria:
- (1) entered the United States before his or her 16th birthday and has been present in the United States for at least five years immediately preceding enactment of this Act; (2) is a person of good moral character; (3) is not inadmissible or deportable under specified grounds of the Immigration and Nationality Act; (4) at the time of application, has been admitted to an institution of higher education or has earned a high school or equivalent diploma; (5) from the age of 16 and older, has never been under a final order of exclusion, deportation, or removal; and (6) was under age 35 on the date of this Act’s enactment.
- You might encourage your students to reflect on the label “DREAMers.” What do they think it means to be a dreamer? What does it mean in this context? Why might some immigrants’ rights activists have decided to use the label?
There are many pedagogical strategies you can use to discuss DACA in a classroom setting. Some educators will want to leave an open space for reflection. Others may prefer to have a formal debate. The choice of strategy should be driven by our educational goals. As we approach DACA, or related discussions about immigration, let’s remember that they present real dilemmas that may have personal consequences for our students. One question we might use to drive discussion is simply, “What advice might you give congress in order to seek a just solution?”
To add to your knowledge about DACA and the impact of the decision to end the program, please click here for a list of media sources you may consider using with your students.
- As you read, watch or listen to any of these pieces, you might have students engage in critical media literacy protocols to help them clarify, facts, opinions, and generalizations in each source. We have included two protocols below that were created by Facing History and Ourselves and The News Literacy Project.
To help students take Civic Action, you might discuss voting and expressing your views to elected officials. This resource, How to Contact Your Elected Officials, can be shared with students: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials/. Students could also be encouraged to write a letter to the editor, or volunteer with one of the groups that are taking action collectively.
Re-imagining Migration. Teaching about DACA as a current event. September 15th, 2017.
- Vogelsang, John D. and McGee, Sophia. Handbook for Facilitating Difficult Conversations in the Classroom. July, 29th, 2015.
- DACA News: What to Tell Your Undocumented Students
- "We Can't Just Say We're a Safe Space"
- The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) - Know Your Rights: What to do if Immigration Agents (ICE) Are at Your Door