We Stand with the Dreamers

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YLI is My Story

Dear YLI friends and family,

It is with conflicted heart that I write you in response to the ongoing politics in Washington, D.C. as it relates to the 800,000 young people who are part of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The truth is, DACA impacts all of us, regardless of our immigration status. The undocumented youth who would benefit from a #cleanDreamAct are our children, our brothers and sisters, our neighbors and friends, our schoolmates and co-workers. Their lives are deeply woven into the fabric of our communities; their stories are our stories.The ongoing delay in Washington to meaningfully address our community members by giving them clarity and status is a failure of leadership in our government.

YLI stands unwaveringly on the side of our immigrant communities.

This position is a reflection of our core values — inclusion, social justice, community, and innovation — which we strive to live and breathe everyday through our work with youth and in all aspects of our organization. YLI works to ensure that those most impacted by inequities lead the change our communities need. As an organization committed to uplifting the voices of youth of color and their white allies, we will fight alongside our partners throughout the state and the nation to ensure that our young people are recognized for the role they play in their communities, and that their voices are heard. We will continue to operate our programs and build leaders today who will model functional governing, organizing, and responsible engagement with the diverse populations that are the very core of our country.

To the undocumented youth, please know: you are not alone. We know that this latest deal in Washington promises a vote on immigration policies nationally, and we are hopeful that a more permanent resolution will result from this agreement. We will be at the forefront of hope, demanding that our elected leaders in Congress and local communities create policies that protect you and enable you to continue on with your lives as we operate from a place of power, not panic.

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

Let us fight together to ensure all youth have a voice in our communities!

In Solidarity,

Jon Marker
CEO, Youth Leadership Institute

Important Resources
Please forward these to anyone who might need them!

If you or someone you know has questions about immigration status, we want to make you aware of legal services in our communities:
We know that many of our partners are assisting with financial needs for those pursuing a renewal of their DACA, please reach out if you have questions. Additionally, if you or someone you know is searching for the Rapid Response Network lines, we would encourage you to save these resources:

SF Rapid Response Network
Region covered: San Francisco City
Contact information: 415-200-1548

San Mateo Rapid Response Network
Region covered: San Mateo County
Contact information: 203-666-4472

Fresno Rapid Response
Region covered: Fresno County
Contact information: 559-206-0151

Marin Rapid Response Network
Region covered: Marin County
Contact information: 415-991-4545

Services, Immigration Rights and Education Network (SIREN) Rapid Response Text Platform
Region covered: Northern & Central CA
Community Members: 201-468-6088

Allies: 918-609-4480