DACA is About All of US

yli is My Story

Dear YLI Community,

Today, the Trump administration announced that they will no longer accept new applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). For people already enrolled in DACA, they are legally eligible to continue working until their permits expire. The administration failed to take a position in support of the DREAMers, leaving Congress to create a policy that will determine future legal options for the 800,000 people who have already enrolled in this program.

We are saddened and upset by this xenophobic decision, which comes from a place of hate and not leadership.  DACA was designed specifically to protect youth who came to this country without another place to call home.   It has allowed youth who came to our country to build their futures, to have a voice in our society, and to contribute their labor and their wisdom to our economy. As an organization committed to uplifting the voices of underserved youth, we will fight to ensure that all of our youth leaders continue to have a voice, regardless of from where they come.

To those 800,000 brothers, sisters, coworkers, and neighbors, please know: you are not alone.  The Youth Leadership Institute, in conjunction with many of our partners throughout the state and nation, will continue to fight to ensure that your voices remain heard, safe, and protected.  

We will not sit and let our young people’s opportunities expire.  We will be at the forefront of hope as we educate our elected leaders in Congress and local communities to build policies that will enable the 800,000 DACA recipients to stay and contribute to the places that they call home. We stand with confidence knowing that immigrants will always be a part of the story of our communities.  

Young people, please be aware of these resources:

  1. YLI will continue to be the same place you have always known us to be for all who come through our door.
  2. Youth: please use us as a resource. Your adult allies are here to support you and help you find resources or support that you need.
  3. If you have questions about your immigration status, we want to make you aware of legal services in our communities:
  4. ‚ÄúDeferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: Legal Contexts & Resources‚ÄĚ Facebook livestream discussion will be led today Tuesday September 5 at 4pm. Lucia Martel-Dow, Director of Immigration Legal Services at Canal Alliance will lead this discussion. Join the Livestream at 4pm.
  5. 5. YLI will create programs for youth who are organizing specific youth-led initiatives that create communities inclusive of immigrants.

YLI staff remain true to our values of Social Justice, Innovation, Community, and Inclusion and will continue to serve our youth to the best of our ability to make sure they have access to leadership pathways that will make our communities stronger, safer, and more resilient in the future.

As one of the young people involved in YLI has said: There was life before DACA, and there will be life after DACA.  

Join us in fighting to ensure all youth have a voice in our communities!


Jon Marker
CEO, Youth Leadership Institute