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Vote to Protect and Expand

Immigrants’ Rights in 2022

Upholding the rights and civil liberties of immigrants is important to all of us. When the government has the power to deny due process and other legal rights to one vulnerable group, everyone’s rights are at risk.

As political attacks on immigrants have escalated in recent years, we understand the stakes have only increased. This election season, we as voters must commit to pushing back against cruel anti-immigrant policies and defending the constitutionally guaranteed rights and civil liberties of every person in this country — regardless of documentation, refugee, or immigration status.

Our Immigrants’ Rights Platform

Learn more about what to consider when casting a pro-immigrants’ rights ballot.

Protecting Undocumented Children

The fundamental constitutional protections of due process and equal protection embodied in our Constitution apply to every person, regardless of immigration status. However, two of the most vulnerable immigrant populations-undocumented children and undocumented workers- are continuously left at risk. Delaware lawmakers have the power to extend what could be potentially life-saving protections to undocumented children and it is our responsibility to elect leaders who prioritize doing so.

All children, regardless of documentation status, deserve access to healthcare. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in immigrant children arriving in the United States amidst humanitarian crises and the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of their immigration status, many of these children are not eligible for coverage under Medicaid or CHIP programs, leaving them with no viable option for access to healthcare. It is more crucial than ever to ensure that undocumented children are protected and cared for.

There are approximately 5,000 undocumented children in Delaware. We need legislation that will work to develop and operate a medical coverage program for children in Delaware who are not otherwise covered, including children who are not documented. Currently, 8 states and the District of Columbia provide healthcare coverage for undocumented children. It’s time for Delaware to take action. Our elected officials must understand and support the need for policies that provide medical coverage as well as other avenues for expanded protections for undocumented children.

Preventing ICE-DMV Collaboration

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has a long and notorious history of collaborating with Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices across the country. Currently, Delaware permits the DMV to share personal information with ICE for immigration enforcement purposes without court order or warrant. This partnership disproportionately impacts and endangers the immigrant community, many of whose undocumented status may leave them subject to arrest and deportation. Individuals, regardless of where they were born, must have control over their personal information. The weaponization of DMV databases to target undocumented individuals is not only a blatant violation of civil liberties, but also only leads to further distrust between immigrant communities and law enforcement.

This election season, let’s take action to restrict unlawful information sharing between the DMV and immigration agencies. Delaware’s immigrant population deserves the right to drive, access DMV services, and pursue the opportunities that holding a license allows without fear of punishment. We must elect candidates who are ready to push policies that enact statutory protections, complete with enforcement mechanisms that prioritize transparency and accountability, against information sharing with the Department of Homeland Security.

Mandating Dedicated Spanish Language Employees

The United States is currently home to the second largest population of Spanish-speakers in the world with an estimated 13% of the population speaking Spanish at home. In recent years, Delaware has seen a dramatic increase in the percentage of its population identifying as Hispanic/Latino. The 2020 U.S. Census confirmed that 104,290 Delaware residents, or 1 in every 10 Delawareans, identify themselves as such. However, the true number is thought to be much higher as many immigrants may distrust government officials and fear sharing personal data causing immigrants to be undercounted in the U.S. Census. Regardless, these statistics make one thing very clear- Delaware’s Spanish-speaking community is only growing and state services must grow too.

Language should never prevent anyone from accessing the resources needed to prosper in this country. Under U.S. law, government agencies or organizations funded by the U.S. government, must provide individuals with assistance in their preferred language including interpreters and translations of documents. However, hiring third-party contractors to fulfill this requirement can lead to inconsistencies in quality and accessibility of language services. Delaware must mandate the presence of dedicated Spanish language employees at all state offices. These employees must be housed within the offices, and be readily available to assist individuals who require services in Spanish.

Spanish-speaking Delawareans are an integral part of our community. Our lawmakers must not only recognize the value of diversity within Delaware, but also ensure that all Delaware residents are given the opportunity to thrive.

Expanding Access to Services for DACA Recipients

As of March 2020, Delaware was home to 1,310 active Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. Thanks to DACA, these Delawareans have been able to live, work, go to school, and become an important part of Delaware communities. However, Delaware DACA recipients still face numerous barriers that limit opportunities to pursue higher education and advance their careers. Although some state institutions have policies that allow DACA students eligibility for in-state tuition, Delaware has no statewide policies that expand access to in-state tuition to undocumented students, nor statewide policies regarding access to state financial aid for undocumented students, including DACA recipients. Furthermore, Delaware has no statewide legislation that extends occupational and professional licensure to undocumented individuals, including DACA recipients.

Delaware must do more to allow for DACA individuals to take advantage of every opportunity presented to any other Delawarean, regardless of legal status. Our lawmakers must act on passing legislation and enacting policies that provide education funding opportunities for DACA recipients, as well as avenues for DACA recipients to grow professionally. It is our responsibility to elect candidates who will fight to support and expand Delaware’s DACA services.

Pledge To Vote In The 2022 Primary And General Elections

The issues you care about are on the ballot in 2022. Sign on to our pledge to receive updates about our ACLU Voter campaign, including opportunities to assist with voter registration, education, and candidates’ forums.