The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (2012; DACA) provides administrative relief for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as minors (DREAMers)—protecting them from deportation and providing them a work permit. Our team was engaged by Cities for Action and the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs to develop and manage a targeted communications campaign to shape the public narrative on DREAMers by highlighting their stories and the positive impacts they have on local communities across the country, as well as the negative consequences ending DACA would have nationwide. Under the leadership of Michelle D’Cruz, our team named and branded the campaign, worked with DACA recipients to develop and record narratives for a national video series, conceptualized and produced a suite of graphics and messages for a new social media campaign, worked with Cities for Action and community-based organizations across the US to develop and distribute 2 resource guides—one for elected officials and another for DACA recipients and impacted communities, and worked with city officials from eight cities to pen and place op-eds in support of the DACA program.
The campaign leveraged diverse voices of leadership both to counteract the negative narrative strategies that stigmatize immigrants and to keep DACA recipients, their loved ones, and additional affected communities updated about the status of the DACA program. All resources were designed to be evergreen templates that Cities for Action can carry forward toward future initiatives of support for immigrant communities.