DACA

Statement Regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Youth Caucus of America reaffirms its support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The legislation addresses the issue of undocumented children under the age of 16, “Dreamers” by incentivizing the legal declaration of their status, provided that they have no criminal record and have earned a high school diploma. Under DACA, these people are allowed a social security number, a driver’s license, and are given authorization to work — as well having relief from the fear of being deported. DACA is not a path to permanent citizenship, but it grants a temporary but renewable opportunity for undocumented youth to pursue life. Its repeal would counter national interests by removing productive workers from our economy, as well as costing the US government billions of dollars in lost future tax revenues. These educated youth are, by definition, products of the US education system, and their deportation would be a waste of tremendous national investment. We should treat these driven, educated, and English-speaking young people not as a burden, but as a resource.  

With enthusiasm, Youth Caucus of America proudly reaffirms its support for DACA, and welcomes the acceptance of educated, yet undocumented youth, provided that they meet the criteria established in this legislation.

 

Rekha Iyer

Policy Chair, Education Committee


Statement Regarding Department of Education’s Title IX Rollback

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that the Department of Education would begin the process of rolling back provisions within Title IX that protected survivors of sexual assault on college campuses in the United States on Thursday September 7th.

The provisions in Title IX were first implemented under the Obama administration.

Youth Caucus of America is shocked and appalled by Secretary DeVos’ announcement and by the callous new approach that the Department of Education is seeking to take in regards to helping survivors achieve justice. We strongly believes in a survivor-centered approach to resolving sexual assault on campuses around the United States, and do not think that this administration’s restructuring of Title IX provisions will have the needs of survivors as a priority. Rather, we are concerned that Secretary DeVos’ plans will lead to more assailants and rapists walking free, more fear amongst survivors, and a harder system to contend with in order to achieve justice.

Coby Owens, CEO of Youth Caucus of America, commented:

“No system is perfect, but I would find it difficult to pinpoint one that is. The culture which permits campus sexual assault must come to an end in order to make our spaces for learning genuinely habitable, and the Title IX guidelines have done a considerable amount to flip the script.

If the President and his administration really wanted to “make America great again,” they would begin by making our schools habitable incubators for learning and growth, not the opposite. Our education system is the birthplace of hope. It’s the point at which curiosities are nourished, creativity is discovered, and entire universes within us transform from black-and-white to technicolor.”

As a part of our #TakeNoForAnAnswer campaign, Youth Caucus of America has previously expressed our support for S. 856/H.R. 1949, the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, which intends to implement increased support services and campus resources for students alleging sexual assault, enforce new reporting requirements, and encourage coordination with law enforcement. Now, more than ever, we are calling upon legislators and students alike to champion legislation and action that will help survivors of sexual assault achieve justice through the channels set up by institutions of higher education.


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Press Release: Youth Caucus of America Partners with the March for Racial Justice

YCA is proud to announce our official partnership with the March for Racial Justice, which is occurring on September 30 in Washington, D.C.. As an organization dedicated to advancing the rights of young Americans, we believe it is vital to stand up for the rights of minority youth. By working towards eliminating racism, we can ensure that the next generation of Americans lives in a society in which everyone has the ability to reach their fullest potential, regardless of race.

Website: www.m4rj.com


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In Response to SB. 1 (Evidence Based School Funding)

Youth Caucus of America is committed to our nation’s public education system. In accordance to our policies, Youth Caucus of America is proud to announce its support for the Evidence Based School Funding Act, which changes how school funding is allocated. We strongly support SB. 1, sponsored by Senator Andy Manar and Representative William Davis, because the quality of a child’s education should not be determined solely on geographic location. Currently, wealthier districts spend up to $30,000 per student, while the less the poorer districts only spend around $8,000 per student. By implementing SB 1, a bill that allocates funds to schools based off how much each district can afford to pay in property taxes and what needs each district has (low-income, ELL, special needs, etc), the Illinois State Government will be be able to better provide their schools with the funding for the resources needed to supplement education programs. Simply put, SB. 1 will level the educational playing field, and ensure that all public schools and students receive the funding they need to succeed. Youth Caucus of America strongly advocates the implementation of this legislation.

With enthusiasm, Youth Caucus of America proudly supports SB. 1, and thus the appropriate allocation of funding for public schools.

Rekha Iyer, Policy Director

 

Michael Chen, Research Analyst

Noah Tang, Research Analyst


DreamAct

Statement Regarding President Trump’s Dismantling of DACA

Youth Caucus of America is appalled and dismayed by the decision made by President Donald J. Trump and his administration to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The DACA program was created in 2012 by President Barack Obama to protect “Dreamers”, undocumented individuals who were brought into the United States when they were under the age of 16. DACA has facilitated the integration of Dreamers into American society by allowing them to receive a Social Security number, authorization to work, a driver’s license, and peace of mind. By meeting the strict criteria set out by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Dreamers have proven themselves to be individuals who are positioned to achieve personal success. DACA has given many people the opportunity to achieve a normal and productive life that enriches our communities and betters the country.

The White House’s decision to phase out DACA foists the lives of nearly 800,000 Dreamers into chaotic uncertainty. Many of these individuals are young people whose lives and futures are imperiled by the questionable decision making of the current administration. Dreamers now face the possibility of being removed from classrooms and jobs and deported to a country they may not even remember. Youth Caucus of America firmly believes in the equality and participation of all in the United States. The disruption of the lives of so many members of our country is unconscionable and challenges the notion of America as a meritocracy.

Youth Caucus of America does not approve of this administration’s decision to phase out DACA and to shatter the lives of thousands of young people across this nation.

 


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Statement Regarding “Unite the Right” Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia

Youth Caucus of America is devastated and horrified by the violence, hatred, and bigotry surrounding the “Unite the Right” rally taking place in the city of Charlottesville in Virginia. The “Unite the Right” demonstration is a protest against the planned removal of a statue of civil war general Robert F. Lee in Charlottesville. However, the rally and events leading up to it have been marked by the presence of racist white nationalist groups and individuals. Reports of chants such as “Jew will not replace us” and “White lives matter” coming from white nationalists in Charlottesville are divisive and profoundly disturbing. Clashes between protesters and counter-protesters armed with shields and batons have reportedly led to 15 people being injured. This morning, the Charlottesville Police Department reported a car ramming into a densely packed crowd of individuals protesting the rally, killing one and injuring 19 other individuals. The disorder and fighting that has engulfed the protests and counter-protests have forced the governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, to declare a state of emergency.

Youth Caucus of America does not condone the violent acts and the divisive rhetoric being used in Charlottesville. We hope for the safety of those currently in Charlottesville.


Keep Girls in School

Keeping Girls in School Act (S. 1171)

In accordance to our policies, Youth Caucus of America is proud to announce its support for the Keeping Girls in School Act, which intends to increase school opportunity and attendance through the implementation of a global strategy to empower girls. Specifically, this bill proposes the proper allocation of funding and the collaborative efforts of multiple relevant government organizations, private organizations, congressional subcommittees, and outside consultants to achieve a more interdisciplinary approach to global education. Youth Caucus of America strongly advocates for the comprehensive sex education programs which this bill promises, as domestic responsibilities have proven to be a significant barrier to the pursuit of education for young girls. We support this bill because it empowers young women by delegitimizing the restrictive cultural and societal norms which impede their ability to enter the professional sector. We also believe that our commitment to end the prominence of sexual violence on and off of academic campuses will be well supported through the enactment of this bill, and will ultimately allow more girls to attend school without the fear of being victims of assault. This is an integrative solution which would eradicate the “specific barriers” which inhibit young women, effectively promote school attendance for adolescent girls, and thus foster the growth of developing nations.

With enthusiasm, Youth Caucus of America proudly supports S.1171 (Keeping Girls in School Act), and thus the widespread encouragement of both gender and academic equality.

Rekha Iyer

Education Policy Director

Dakota Rudzik

Education Deputy Director of Research Analysis

Benjamin Holtzman

Education Deputy Director of Communication


Counselor

Put School Counselors Where They Are Needed Act (H.R. 977)

Youth Caucus of America is enthusiastic about announcing its support for the Put School Counselors Where They Are Needed Act, which intends to provide guidance and emotional assistance to economically challenged students in Title 1 schools. These students have concerningly high dropout rates, and the stated amendment will provide funding in order to assign additional counselors to schools, according to need-based assessment, in order to reduce these dropout rates. A report done by the College Board in 2012 documented that many high school counselors are overburdened by large caseloads, especially in school where majority of the students are of low-income. Although the current average student to counselor ratio in American public schools is 471:1, The American Counselor Association, the American Counseling Association, and the National Association for College Admission Counseling recommend a student to counselor ratio of 250:1 in order to provide enough support for student success. Studies have concluded that the services of preventative counseling and programmatic changes provided by school counselors prevent low-income and disabled students from dropping out of school.

The impacts that school counseling has on the academic success of troubled students is extremely undervalued according to various national surveys. However, leaders in the education committee now realize the profound statistical evidence indicating the positive correlation between more counseling and student achievement. It is critical that one understands the role of counseling in academic, and ultimately professional success. Thus, this bill would help keep more students in school, with the hope that they too will have the opportunity to find success after high school.

With enthusiasm, Youth Caucus of America proudly supports H.R. 977 (Put School Counselors Where They Are Needed Act) with the purpose of reducing student dropout rates in the American public education system.

Rekha Iyer

Education Policy Director


A Letter from Our Founders: YCA One Year Later

A Letter  from Our Founders: YCA One Year Later

On this day in 2016, Youth Caucus of America was founded. Since then we have worked tirelessly to build a network of youth from across the country to promote a more inclusive, forward-thinking nation. We made it through a historic presidential election, and despite growing division and polarization throughout the United States, we have remained steadfast in our vision:

As an organization, we represent the collective interests of youth and seek to both advance the status of youth within our current political framework and build a sustainable future centered around the most pressing issues for our generation.

Over the past year, we have

-Grown to 80 staff members from across the country

-Participated in a summit in D.C. with the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign and worked to protect our international aid budget

-Tirelessly advocated against the American Health Care Act and healthcare policy that would harm American youth

After reflecting upon our first year as an organization, we would like to express gratitude to everyone who has helped us to accomplish so much. Your tireless work has made a lasting impact on the lives of American youth, but there is still more we can accomplish together. Issues like college campus sexual assault, healthcare, and climate change are still looming. It is up to us as young people to advocate for sustainable long-term government policy to ensure that American society continues to flourish for future generations. It is vital that we continue to turn passion into policy; our work has just begun.  

Warmest Regards,

Coby Owens, Chief Executive Officer

John Dominguez, Chairman

Sarmat Chowdhury, Vice Chair and SVP of Government Affairs


Campus Accountability and Safety Act

In accordance with our policies, Youth Caucus of America is proud to announce its support for the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, which intends to implement increased support services and campus resources for students alleging sexual assault, enforce new reporting requirements, and encourage coordination with law enforcement. We support this bill because statistics have evidenced that 66% of all sexual assault incidents experienced by college students have occurred on campus. Specifically, this bill proposes the mandatory training of on campus staff, the creation of a “confidential advisor” position in order to investigate on behalf of, advise, and advocate for the accuser, and the introduction of a “victim-centered, trauma-informed” interview to address the victim’s experience in a more detailed fashion. Youth Caucus of America strongly advocates for the establishment of a website by the Department of Education, as this bill promises, as the use of a digital platform to publicly organize pending investigations would be beneficial. Youth Caucus of America believes that our commitment to mitigate the prominence of sexual violence on campus will be well supported by the enactment of this bill, and that the solutions this bill proposes will ultimately allow more students to attend and learn on college campuses without the fear of being a victim of sexual assault. Thus, we find S. 856 to be the most integrative solution to attend to this issue at present.

With enthusiasm, the Youth Caucus of America proudly supports S. 856 (Campus Accountability and Safety Act), and thus a more victim-centered approach to resolve sexual assault cases on campus in order to promote a safer learning environment.

Rekha Iyer, Policy Director

Dakota Rudzik, Deputy Director of Research Analysis

 

 

 


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