Defending the Dream: Who's Giving Grants for DACA Right Now?

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Trump administration's decision to end DACA has created a lot of anger and pushback, including from some prominent corporate leaders. But what are foundations doing to protect undocumented young people from deportation and save DACA, the fate of which is now in the hands of Congress?


The affinity group Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees is playing an important coordinating role here, as it did in organizing philanthropy's response to Trump's travel ban. GCIR has made funding recommendations to guide funders toward the best ways to help on DACA right now. GCIR President Daranee Petsod told us that these recommendations reflect the diversity of the DACA beneficiary population and the challenges that they will face due to DACA's termination.

Petsod also told us that since DACA's launch in 2012, GCIR has engaged more than 100 foundations nationwide. "These funders, over the past five years, have invested and leveraged over $42 million to provide community outreach and education, legal screening, and application assistance to help eligible immigrants apply for DACA as well as more permanent immigration status," Petsod said. 

National matching dollars for GCIR's Delivering on the Dream initiative were provided by the Open Society Foundations, the Ford Foundation, Unbound Philanthropy and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Petsod also mentioned the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, which is one of GCIR's partners on this initiative and a funder that we've been following closely here at IP. This North Carolina foundation provided $100,000 to help DACA recipients in its home state, underscoring the local approach that many DACA grantmakers are taking. 

One hopeful point Petsod shared is...