Peer Health Exchange strongly condemns the move to rescind the protections afforded to young people in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA protected almost 800,000 young people, known as “Dreamers,” from deportation, many of them in the communities where we teach. Peer Health Exchange exists to help young people achieve more positive and equitable health outcomes. The move to rescind DACA endangers the lives and health of many young people across the country.
Families and young people living under the continued threat of deportation can see a significant increase in health problems, such as anxiety and sleeplessness. This fear can also lead to challenges in school, as well as long-term health problems associated with toxic stress. The toxic stress caused by rescinding DACA could negatively affect health outcomes for almost 1 million young people for the rest of their lives.
More than that, this toxic stress can spill over into the broader Latinx population, putting 1 in 4 children in the US at risk for experiencing this trauma. In contrast, research found that programs like DACA could significantly benefit the mental health of immigrant populations by removing the threat of deportation.
We believe that all young people deserve to live long, healthy lives, including DACA Dreamers. Please join us in showing up for DACA Dreamers in your community. Learn more about DACA and Dreamers, and share it with your family and friends. Talk with your elected officials about protecting Dreamers in your community, including renewing DACA. Support organizations working with immigrants. Together, we can show up for all young people in our communities and make sure they have the ability to lead healthy lives.