We are PODER, Petitioners Organizing for DACA’s Effective Replacement. We are comprised of Northwestern University Pritzker Law students, faculty, staff, and other members of the university community. Established in September 2017 in response to the recession of DACA, we drafted our petition through an engagement process centers on principles of inclusion, equity, and democracy.
Our completed petition, presented on November 8, 2017—one year after the election of President Trump—calls on Congress to protect Dreamers from deportation by enacting a fair and efficient pathway to citizenship. We urge swift action for legislation that is unencumbered with complex reforms that are harmful for immigrant families. While building on this progress to further develop solidarity within our school, PODER is also taking direct political action, as well as working to develop channels for law students to serve immigrant communities in Chicago.
Our view of the law is an aspirational one, not a binary rule-making force that reduces people to a legal definition, but an instrument for affirming due process, equal opportunity, and inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all people, regardless of national origin. We assert that anyone with an open-mind will be hard-pressed to demonstrate how a Dreamer is any less American than a multi-generation citizen. The only difference is a system of labeling based on events that transpired during the earliest years of a person’s life and over which they had no control. Regardless of their economic and educational accomplishments, regardless of how they benefit others, Dreamers clearly deserve to be protected by U.S. law from a removal that will bring insult and injury.
The law aspires to be better. We should too. It is time for our government to affirm that Dreamers are here to stay.
This is a student organization website. Statements and views expressed here do not necessarily represent official views of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law