DACA and Remembering MLK

This week’s CLP Current Event acknowledges the enormous contribution and sacrifice of American hero Martin Luther King, Jr. by weaving the DACA controversy with MLK’s legacy. In doing so, CLP recognizes that this week’s coverage has a pro-DACA slant. We like to think that we, too, can “bend toward justice.” 

Brought to teachers by Susie Marcus, CLP consultant, with CLP staff.

As Dr. King said, the resolution to this debate must be that we judge people based upon the content of their character, rather than their race, religion, national origin, or financial means.

  • Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, New York’s Ninth Congressional District


News Sources

What Happened at the Immigration Meeting Between Trump, Bipartisan Lawmakers, by Miriam Valverde, Politifact, Jan. 9, 2018
“President Donald Trump offered a surprising look into his talks with bipartisan lawmakers on immigration policy, allowing television cameras to capture nearly an hour of discussion at a Jan. 9 White House meeting about the fate of immigrants known as ‘Dreamers.’…”
CLP: President hosts a bipartisan meeting on DACA

Exclusive: Senators Reach Deal to Save Dreamers and Wall, by Andrew Desiderio and Sam Stein, Daily Beast, Jan. 11, 2018
“Congressional negotiators finalized an immigration deal on Thursday that would codify legal protections for undocumented minors while giving President Donald Trump some tangible victories of his own…”
CLP: deal remains a question mark

Why Reaching A DACA Deal Could Be Tough, by Scott Detrow, NPR/OPB All things Considered, Jan. 11, 2018
“Reaching an agreement on a DACA fix is only half the battle. The House and Senate would then have to approve it … there’s still a lot more that needs to happen before a DACA fix becomes reality…”
CLP: listen to 4:20m audio or read transcript about struggle to reach a compromise

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos Donate $33M Scholarship Grant for DACA Students, from CBS News, Jan. 12, 2018
CLP: something positive!

The Injustice of Repealing DACA Would Trouble MLK and It Should Trouble Us (EDITORIAL), by Rondell Trevino, MLK50 Justice, Aug. 21, 2017
“… King wants us to know that we need to oppose injustice anywhere we see it. Repealing DACA is an injustice and should matter to us for two main reasons…”
CLP: an editorial that suggests that MLK would have spoken out.

Martin Luther King and Immigrants’ Rights, by Obery Hendricks, Jr., The Blog Huffington Post, Jan. 17, 2017
“Supporters of comprehensive immigration reform and the anti-immigration activists who oppose it have one thing in common: both invoke the memory of Marin Luther King Jr…”
CLP: from 2017. Great for connecting to MLK; good quotes, too.


Questions to Consider

  • What is DACA? Why was Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival initiated? What are the requirements to be part of DACA?
  • Why was DACA an executive order rather than a legislative decision?
  • Which branch of government will decide on the status of Dreamers? Where does the responsibility lie to decide on immigration questions?
  • How are all three branches involved in immigration decision-making?
  • What is a “Dreamer”? How many Dreamers are there in the United States? What do we know about their contributions? What might be the connection between Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech and the current Dreamers?
  • Can DACA be separated from immigration decisions for all undocumented persons?
  • What is a path to citizenship? What is amnesty?
  • Are immigration and security decisions indivisible? Why? How?
  • What is the history of immigration in the United States? What are the factors in deciding about immigration in 2018?
  • What is the legal basis for the lawsuit against the Trump administration by some Dreamers?
  • What is the government’s decision regarding Salvadoran immigrants? What does this mean for all immigrants?
  • Is immigration a partisan issue? Is immigration a constitutional issue? Is immigration policy a mirror for the soul of democracy? Does US immigration policy affect our relations with the rest of the world?
  • What is the future of immigration legislation? What is the future of DACA?


Background and More

US immigration: DACA and Dreamers Explained, by Catherine E. Shoichet, Susannah Cullinane and Tal Kopan, Oct. 26, 2017
CLP: great Q&A for getting up to date

What You Need to Know About DACA, by Megan Hughes, ABC News, Sept. 5, 2017
CLP: another great Q&A for getting up to date

Immigration Principles & Policies
CLP: Official White House statement. Focus on security and enforcement.

“I Have A Dream” Foundation Statement on DACA, by I” Have a Dream” Foundation, Sept. 6, 2017
CLP: connecting MLK ideals and DACA

What You Need to Know About Temporary Protected Status Recipients from El Salvador, by Eric Gibble, American Immigration Council Immigration Impact, Dec. 21, 2017
CLP: Not DACA but El Salvadoran Temporary Protected Status is related. From a pro-immigration site.

The DACA Population Numbers, by Lori Robertson,, Jan. 12, 2018
CLP: helpful info from trusted source.

Martin Luther King’s Legacy for the Undocumented Immigrant Children, by Yvonne Watterson, Irish Central, Jan. 16, 2017
CLP: written by a teacher on the occasion of being awarded the 2008 Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for standing up for “Dream” children


Lesson Plans

Honoring The Life And Legacy Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., by Meera Dolasia, Jan. 11, 2108
CLP: good biography of MLK for kids

Your Turn: 4 Things You Can Do to Honor Martin Luther King in 2018, by Carlos Galindo-Elvira, AZ-Central/USA Today Network, Jan. 5, 2018
CLP: citizen activism, not a lesson


DACA: A Reflective Circle, by Marieke van Woerkom, Sept. 7, 2017
CLP: thoughtful; pro-DACA.

DACA Decision Puts DREAMers Back in Limbo, by Cory Collins, from Teaching Tolerance, Sept. 5, 2107
CLP: Emphasis on know your rights and activism.

Immigration Myths Lesson, from Teaching Tolerance

Resources for Educators Supporting Dreamers, NEA EdJustice


Constitutional and Legal Connections

A DACA Question: Should Judges Use Local Cases to Halt National Orders? By Katie Benner, New York Times, Jan. 14, 2018
“… (a Federal district court judge) used a local case to impose a nationwide stop on Mr. Trump’s order to end a program that protects young undocumented immigrants in the United States. The tactic has gained popularity among federal judges as a tool to combat perceived executive overreach. But legal scholars say it is helping to erode the idea of an impartial judiciary…”

Explaining the Legal Arguments in the DACA Controversy, by Scott Bomboy, Constitution Daily – National Constitution Center, Sept. 1, 2017

DACA Constitutionality Hasn’t Been Settled in Court, by Miriam Valverde, Politifact, Sept. 15, 2017
“New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is leading a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its decision to rescind a deferred deportation program, claiming the program itself has not been ruled unconstitutional…”

Six ‘Dreamers’ Sue Trump to Block Repeal of DACA, by Hailey Branson-Potts, LA Times, Sept. 18, 2017
“Six California beneficiaries of the Arrivals program sued the Trump administration Monday for rescinding protections for young immigrants without legal status…”

What a Judge’s DACA Ruling Means for Trump, and for Dreamers, by Johathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, January 10, 2018
“…a federal district-court judge in California, William Alsup, stepped in to halt the Trump Administration’s cancellation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), …The judge’s injunction, which the Administration has vowed to appeal, means that those who had daca on the day the program was cancelled can now apply to renew their status…”
CLP: connects judicial ruling with responsibilities of other branches


Oregon & the Northwest

Oregon Sues Trump Administration Over DACA Rollback, by Gordon R. Friedman, The Oregonian/OregonLive, Sept. 6, 2017
“Attorneys with the Oregon Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration Wednesday over the president’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Filings submitted in federal court in New York City make Oregon one party among 15 other states and their attorneys general to jointly file the lawsuit,…”

Oregon Officials, DREAMers Praise, Blast DACA ‘Wind Down’, by Lauren Hernandez, Statesman Journal, Sept. 5, 2017
“Oregon officials had mixed reactions Tuesday following the announcement to «wind down» a program that allows roughly 11,280 Oregon recipients to live, study and work in the United States, or serve in the military, without fear of being deported.  U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Oregon, said the decision to phase out …DACA … will lead to much-needed immigration reform. U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, was incensed…”
CLP: opinions differ


Oregon State Social Science Standards

8.8 Evaluate information from a variety of sources and perspectives.
8.14 Explain rights and responsibilities of citizens.
8.20 Analyze the changing definition of citizenship and the expansion of rights.
8.21 Analyze important political and ethical values such as freedom, democracy, equality, and justice embodied in documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the United Sates Constitution, and Bill of Rights..
8.26 Examine a controversial event, issue, or problem from more than one perspective.
8.27 Examine the various characteristics, causes, and effects of an event, issue, or problem.
8.28 Investigate a response or solution to an issue or problem and support or oppose, using research.

HS.1 Evaluate continuity and change over the course of world and United States history.
HS.5 Examine and evaluate the origins of fundamental political debates and how conflict, compromise, and cooperation have shaped national unity and diversity in world, U.S., and Oregon history.
HS.6 Analyze ideas critical to the understanding of history, including, but not limited to: populism, progressivism, isolationism, imperialism, communism, environmentalism, liberalism, fundamentalism, racism, ageism, classism, conservationism, cultural diversity, feminism, and sustainablity.
HS.9 Identify historical and current events, issues, and problems when national interests and global interest have been in conflict, and analyze the values and arguments on both sides of the conflict.
HS.17 Explain how migration, immigration and communication (cultural exchange, convergence and divergence) lead to cultural changes and make predictions and draw conclusions about the global impact of cultural diffusion.
HS.18 Analyze the impact of human migration on physical and human systems (e.g., urbanization, immigration, urban to rural).
HS.27 Examine functions an process of United Sates government.
HS.28 Evaluate how governments interact at the local, state, tribal, national and global levels.
HS.30 Analyze the roles and activities of political parties, interest groups and mass media and how they affect the beliefs and behaviors of local, state, and national constituencies.
HS.33 Explain the role of government in various current events.
HS.34 Explain the responsibilities of citizens (e.g., vote, pay taxes).
HS.35 Examine the pluralistic realities of society (e.g., race, poverty, gender, and age), recognizing issues of equality, and evaluating need for change.
HS.57 Define, research, and explain an event, issue, problem or phenomenon and its significance to society.
HS.58 Gather, analyze, use and document information from various sources, distinguishing facts, opinions, inferences, biases, stereotypes, and persuasive appeals.
HS.59 Demonstrate the skills and dispositions needed to be a critical consumer of information.
HS.60. Analyze an event, issue, problem, or phenomenon from varied or opposing perspectives or points of view.
HS.61 Analyze an event, issue, problem, or phenomenon, identifying characteristics, influences, causes, and both short- and long-term effects.
HS.63. Engage in informed and respectful deliberation and discussion of issues, events, and ideas.


We the People Lesson Connections

Middle School, Level 2

  • Unit 6, Lesson 29: What are the rights and responsibilities of citizenship?
  • Unit 6, Lesson 30: How might citizens participate in civic affairs?

High School, Level 3

  • Unit 4, Lesson 23: What is the role of the President in the American constitutional system?
  • Unit 6, Lesson 33: What does it mean to be a citizen?
  • Unit 6, Lesson 34: What is the importance of civic engagement to American constitutional democracy?
  • Unit 6, Lesson 35: How have civil rights movements resulted in fundamental political and social change in the United States?
  • Unit 6, Lesson 37: What key challenges does the United States face in the future?